Divorce mediation can be a faster and cheaper way to settle the outstanding issues from your marriage, but only if you succeed in mediation. That means you need to work with your ex and reach an agreement that you both feel okay about. 

Unsuccessful mediation can actually increase the cost of your divorce, as you’ll have to pay for mediation and then for the contested divorce proceedings. Having the right attitude and adequate preparation can increase your likelihood of success during divorce mediation.

Come to the table understanding that compromise is critical

Too many people come into mediation expecting that everything will simply go their way. Mediation does let you maintain more control over the terms you set in divorce, but both you and your ex have to agree on those terms. In other words, you need to be ready to work with your ex and compromise on certain issues. If you refuse to be flexible, mediation likely won’t work well.

Figure out your priorities, and don’t disclose them right away

Whether you want to protect your ownership interest in your professional practice or small business or you hope to secure custody of a shared family pet, knowing your priorities before you get to mediation will make it easier for you to push for the best possible outcome. 

Beyond that, you do not want to show up to the table with a list of demands. Instead, you likely want to ask for more than you currently expect so that you have some leeway for compromise as negotiations proceed.

Keep in mind that the goal is to keep things simple, calm and affordable

It is perfectly natural for emotions to become intense during mediation related to a pending divorce. You aren’t unreasonable for feeling angry, sad, frustrated or even a little bullied. However, you have to do your best to not let your emotions run away with you. Your focus should always be on a successful outcome and the best possible terms for your own future stability.