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5 Tips for Divorce Mediation Success

For anyone who engages in divorce mediation, sessions can be a stressful time. Here are 5 tips for divorce mediation success from the perspective of a New Jersey divorce mediator to help you and your spouse move on with your lives as peacefully and efficiently you can. And while each situation is unique and the parties involved bring their own dynamic, if you each follow these 5 tips for divorce mediation success, things will go a lot smoother than if you didn't.

Realize mediation is a negotiation and you will have to give to get

While I can't dispute what each party feels is fair and equitable, I can tell you entering divorce mediation thinking you'll get everything is a dangerous assumption. Be prepared to give and take and walk away with an agreement you can both live with.

You're adults: act like it

While divorce mediation isn't therapy or marriage counseling, it is a place to express your emotions in a constructive and mature way. Hitting, kicking or throwing of objects is unacceptable and if you feel you need a timeout ask the mediator if you can have a moment to yourself and get up and take a walk. You need to be clear minded to negotiate your future and hitting the reset button is a good way to do that.

Give the divorce mediator everything he or she asks for

Divorce mediation is a good faith negotiation and you need to provide everything that is asked of you. Don't filter out what you think is or isn't included in equitable distribution and provide only partial information as that leads to suspicion and mediation failure.

Do your homework

There is a reason mediators assign homework to their clients and that's because we want you to own the divorce mediation process. You should not expect to come to a divorce mediator and have them hand you a settlement as this is your divorce and you are in control of what your settlement looks like. By doing your homework and getting to know the issues that face you, you are in a better position to make educated decisions that will impact your future which leads to a better long-term agreement for both parties.

Take mediation seriously

Divorce mediation is serious business as the decisions you make will greatly impact you and your children for the rest of your lives. Keep your appointments, show up on time and do what is asked of you in advance of your session. By doing so, this will help your divorce mediator facilitate a productive discussion each and every time and ultimately help you both move through the mediation process more efficiently.

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New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, meaning that the division of property in a divorce is to be done fairly, not necessarily equally. The court can take into consideration any factor it deems relevant when dividing property, but it must consider certain factors, such as how long the couple was married and the age and health of both spouses, the income or property brought to the marriage by each spouse, the standard of living that was achieved during the marriage, and the extent to which one spouse may have deferred career goals, among others.
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