One of the most cost-effective ways to resolve your divorce is through mediation. In order for mediation to succeed, both parties need to be willing to come to the table willing to discuss all issues and with a compromising spirit.
In an earlier article published on www.hongkongdivorce.com, our special contributor Shanna Quinn, a professionally trained mediator, outlined family mediation and what it entails in Hong Kong.
In this article, we will discuss three (3) key ways to succeed in divorce mediation and how you can come out of mediation with a sense of gratitude and accomplishment.
1. Keep Your Emotions Out: It is not uncommon for spouses to use mediation as a vehicle to lay out emotions about all the wrongdoings that had occurred during the marriage. Whilst it is important to express your opinion and communicate your feelings during this complicated season of your life, the purpose of mediation is to resolve issues and move forward, not to rehash the past. By keeping your emotions out of the mediation, you are recognizing that a divorce is simply a business transaction, whereby you and your spouse are outlining the legal terms to dissolve your marriage. Thus, do your best to keep your emotions out of the transaction and the path towards resolving your divorce will be a lot more seamless.
2. Be Willing To Compromise: In order to move forward in resolving your divorce, each spouse has to be willing to compromise. In a divorce, there are no real “winners” or “losers” because at some point each of you will walk away without getting everything that you had wished for. There has to be a certain amount of compromise in order to resolve your divorce. To successfully compromise, you will need to be willing to hear the other side and the reasons behind their position. Be willing to listen and empathize with your spouse and you may soon realize that your spouse may also extend the same courtesy to you as well. A settlement meeting will provide you and your spouse with a platform to negotiate and figure out a plan that you both are willing to accept.
3. Ask Questions, Take A Break, Ask For Time: Mediation will provide you with an opportunity to hash out details of your divorce without the pressure of the Family Court issuing orders and making decisions for your family. If you are in mediation and you do not understand the legal jargon or terms being stated, be sure to speak up and ask questions. If you are represented by a solicitor or barrister, do not be afraid to stop the meeting and ask your solicitor or barrister to explain everything to you. No question is irrelevant as your understanding of what is being discussed will affect your future and your family’s future. If you need a break and need time to process what is being negotiated or offered, ask for this time and each person in the meeting should respect your request for a break. You are entitled to be involved throughout the entire process and you can only be involved if you understand what is being discussed and negotiated.
While in some cases one mediation is sufficient to resolve all of your issues, some divorces require multiple mediation meetings to finalize outstanding issues. If your matter requires several mediation meetings, it is important to note that any prior meetings are not without benefit since they are ALL stepping stones to resolution.