What (Not) to Say in Divorce Mediation
Divorces are not exceptionally common in Georgia in comparison to other states, but reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Statistics Office of Georgia show a significant upward trend in divorces in our state that only briefly slowed during the pandemic.
If you are in the painful process of beginning divorce proceedings, you will likely undergo mediation, which is mandated by the courts in most Georgia counties. Mediation can be a complex process, and you should never go into it alone or unprepared.
The founders of Kessler & Solomiany, LLC have worked in the Atlanta area with a focus on family law for more than 30 years. With our decades of experience and dozens of highly qualified attorneys, we can assist you in all aspects of your divorce, including the many face-to-face meetings that could occur during mediation. Call us today at (404) 688-8810 or fill out our online contact form on our website for a confidential consultation session at your earliest convenience.
What Is Mediation?
When you decide it’s time to end your marriage, you have a few different options for pursuing a divorce. Many couples opt to use mediators in conjunction with their attorneys to come to agreements outside of the courtroom and avoid being bound by the whims of a single judge. A clear understanding of how you will separate assets and handle raising children is crucial for a healthy, productive mediation.
Mediators are not judges. As an impartial observer that whom both sides agree to work with, a mediator aims to listen to all the facts, weigh the evidence, and foster communication during the potentially ugly and emotional divorce process. Often, mediators are former judges or divorce lawyers who can provide insight into how the court will interpret the facts of a case and use this knowledge to craft an agreement that is fair to everyone involved.
What (Not) to Say in Divorce Mediation
Even though your Atlanta divorce attorney will be with you during the mediation process, emotions can run high and cause you to say things you don’t mean or are not conducive to reaching an agreement. Here are some of the most important things to avoid during your Georgia divorce mediation:
Avoid Accusing Your Spouse
You and your spouse will likely go into separate rooms during parts of the mediation process, which will allow both of you to speak your mind to the mediator without fear of embarrassment or unintended consequences. However, you should never think that the best course of action is to badmouth or blame your spouse for every single issue in the relationship, even if they’re out of earshot. The marriage is ending in divorce, so your mediator already knows your opinions of your partner are not likely very high. By focusing on accusations and the detriments of your partner’s character, you are shifting the mediator’s focus away from their goal and giving them the impression that you’re here to air grievances rather than cooperate.
Don’t Threaten to Torpedo the Mediation Process
Mediation is voluntary, and threatening to blow up the process if you don’t get what you want is not a good strategy. While your mediator will aim to help you reach a healthy compromise, they won’t be personally invested in the outcome of your case. They might be unwilling to work with you if it seems like you’re not taking the mediation seriously or if you threaten to go to court on a whim. While mediation might not be the best option for every situation, you should communicate concerns with your attorney before the process begins if you don’t think it’s right for you.
Don’t Give Up Irrelevant Personal Information
Your mediator will only know the information you give them during mediation, so make sure not to provide extraneous information that could make them view you in a bad light. This includes details about things like:
- Strong emotions or biases against your spouse
- Plans for revenge against your spouse
- Illegal activities or unethical behaviors
- Your criminal record, if you have one
- Sensitive personal information about your spouse or children
- Irrelevant opinions on societal issues
- Other unflattering personal information
Contact Us for Your Atlanta Area Divorce and Mediation Needs
At [firm name], our Atlanta divorce attorneys are ready and willing to provide the top-notch representation you deserve during the divorce mediation process. Let us help you begin this new chapter of your life without stress or regrets. To learn more about how we can help you get through your divorce mediation, contact our attorneys through our website or at (404) 688-8810 for an initial consultation session.