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How You Can Broach the Possibility of Mediation With Your Spouse

Mediation is a highly beneficial alternative to divorce litigation, as it allows you to settle most of the issues of your divorce on your own terms, while saving significant time and money.

However, the prospect of communicating with your spouse about just about anything after you’ve decided to get a divorce can be difficult. So how do you propose mediation when communication is painful or terse?

Here are a few suggestions.

  • Consider proposing in writing: If you and your spouse aren’t on speaking terms at the moment but you still would like to give mediation a try, consider proposing mediation in writing. This can help you avoid a potentially emotional confrontation and give you a space where you can take your time and clearly articulate what you want to say.
  • Plan out the conversation: If you intend to have a face to face or telephone conversation about the issue, plan out what you want to say in advance so you can articulate your point carefully. Consider practicing in advance before you actually approach your spouse with the topic.
  • Bring professional materials: If you’d like to remain neutral about the prospect of mediation or would rather take the method of guiding your spouse to making the decision mediation is in everyone’s best interest, you could bring some brochures or pamphlets to your spouse for them to look at, or send them some information online. More information and context is never a bad thing, and it will allow them to see the benefits mediation can hold for couples who are willing to work together.
  • Keep it casual and cordial: Generally, you’re more likely to be successful in discussing mediation if you don’t come firing out of the gate with a hard sell. Your spouse needs to have a choice in mediation—if they feel like they don’t have any agency, then mediation itself won’t work for you. Stay neutral. You can say you’re in favor of mediation, but don’t put any pressure on them.

For more information about discussing mediation with your spouse, contact a trusted Minnesota divorce lawyer at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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