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Tips for a Productive Divorce Mediation

In recent years, mediation has become an increasingly popular option for couples seeking divorce. In fact, Minnesota courts require mediation or some form of Alternative Dispute Resolution in family law matters, with a few exceptions to that requirement. Although this method is usually cheaper and less contentious, it requires some commitment and cooperation from both parties. Here are several tips to enhance the productivity of your sessions:

  • Be a good listener: While you may each enter into mediation sessions believing you know best, it is still important to have patience and be a good listener when your spouse speaks. Even though you may not completely understand each other’s point of view, mediation goes most smoothly when those involved treat each other with respect and refrain from interrupting one another.
  • Keep emotions in check: For many couples, divorce is an emotional process. Often during mediation sessions, parties may become frustrated or upset by something their spouse said or when discussing certain topics. Feeling strong emotions is typically not a reason to discontinue mediation and does not mean that a strong agreement cannot be reached.
  • Come prepared: When entering into your mediation session, it is helpful to arrive prepared with all documents relevant to your divorce. This might include bank account statements, insurance policies and details on your mortgage. By having these documents accessible, you will help expedite the divorce process and support your own goals.
  • Remember to collaborate: Keep in mind that the ultimate objective of mediation is cooperation. It’s not about whether or not you or your partner is “right.” When you enter into your negotiations, remember that you are both working toward a shared goal of an amicable resolution.

If you would like to learn more about mediation and divorce, speak with an experienced Minnesota family lawyer at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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