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Tips for achieving a successful mediation

For those couples who choose to resolve their divorce outside of a courtroom, mediation offers an excellent option. In order for mediation to work, however, both spouses have to be able and willing to make an honest effort toward working out a solution. The following tips are offered in the hopes of making mediation more productive for those in Maryland who choose this path.

One of the most important things for spouses to remember during the mediation process is to take things slow and measure one's reaction. This can be a challenge, especially when the other party presents an offer or negotiation point that seems unreasonable. Mediation, however, is about problem solving and requires a thoughtful approach from both sides. Falling into a knee-jerk reaction or making inflammatory statements can only serve to damage one's interests.

Another important aspect of mediation involves the preparation that each spouse does before the first meeting. It is important to know what is wanted out of the process, so that clear goals can be set. That said, it is also imperative to understand that compromise will be necessary. Not each of the goals laid out early in the divorce process will be met, and there will be adjustments that must be made to the overall plan.

By taking these tips to heart, Maryland spouses can enter the mediation process in the right frame of mind. Mediation offers a wide range of benefits to couples who can successfully navigate the process. By balancing one's divorce goals with a commitment to avoid conflict, spouses can set their differences aside and focus on their shared goal: reaching a mutually agreeable divorce settlement and moving forward.   

Source:, "Five keys to successfully mediate a divorce settlement", Patricia Barrett, Oct. 22, 2015

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