Tennessee requires every divorcing couple to at least attempt mediation — but what you get out of the process largely depends on what you are willing to set aside before you get there.
Some of the most difficult barriers to a successful mediation are the basic pitfalls that can drag out a divorce and make it unnecessarily painful and expensive:
1. Not separating your finances early enough.
While the marriage may have begun on emotion, divorce is all business. As soon as you’re ready to sit down at the table to discuss divorce it is time to close out the joint accounts and credit cards. That helps keep everyone thinking about the divorce as a business transaction and prevents both spouses from abusing the other financially.
2. Letting other people tell you how to run your divorce.
Most people know better than to let other people tell them how to manage their marriage, but when it comes to divorce it seems like everybody is suddenly an expert and willing to tell you what you should be doing (or getting) in your divorce. Keep in mind that every divorce situation is unique.
3. Failing to establish a timeline for when you want to be finished.
If you approach mediation in a goal-oriented fashion, knowing that you want to be finished by a certain date, you stand a better shot of sticking to a formal schedule and hashing things out instead of letting things drag along.
4. Moving on before you’ve really moved on.
While it can be tempting to get involved with someone new right away, try to avoid adding a new factor (or person) to the situation that can cause more stress or prompt a breakdown in communication.
5. Not making the children a priority.
If there are children involved, try to hash out a temporary agreement about who will assume what parenting responsibilities and when. During mediation is the best time to try to see what works, when you can most easily revise your agreement.
Mediation, when approached fairly by both parties, can help you have a far better divorce than you may have thought possible. For more help or to learn how our firm approaches the process of mediation and a collaborative divorce, please visit our page.