(Alternative Title: How to Minimize Time in Mediation and Therefore Cost)
People prepare differently. Make sure you prepare the best way for your particular style.
My style is to read as many books as possible until I feel comfortable making a decision. I’ll read articles and delve deeply into it. I put myself emotionally into a situation via visualization, as well. Then, when I experience the situation, it is as if I can be more present. I don’t have to overthink, I can just be.
Prepare yourself emotionally for mediation. It has some similarities to counseling except the goal is different. You are not trying to work things out to get back together, in mediation. You are preparing for your new life, new ways of relating to one another.
The forum of mediation helps you have a level playing field. If you had a hard time communicating, the mediator will help you move toward the mutually described goal- usually with the children’s best interests as the guiding light.
By this time, many people are “done” with their partner.
Emotionally exhausted, seeing the light at the tunnel, they let down…
Some people stop fighting and just want to be done, just want to walk away and not have to deal with the other person. The danger in doing this is emotional reasoning- giving up and not making great decisions. The decisions you make now are going to affect you for a long time. Give them the time they warrant.
Don’t walk away from large amounts of money or things without really considering it. Five months from now and five years from now, you will look at the situation very differently than you look at it now.
Maybe bounce it off a trusted friend who has the benefit of emotional distance from your situation. Make sure your lawyer thoroughly reviews what you have agreed to in mediation, in order to make sure you are not giving away too much.
These meetings can be emotional. Tissues, crying, bargaining are common. Often the ambivalence comes back at the beginning. Almost no one wants a divorce. They are painful, messy and affect everyone involved.
No one wants to be married and trapped in a situation that is awful, either.
Prepare yourself for second guessing your decision. Your friends and family might be second guessing you.
Prepare yourself for guilt about hurting your children by separating, hurting your spouse, for not being able to see your children as often as you do now.
Prepare for possible anger at your spouse “for doing this to me.” Letting go is one of the hardest things on the planet. You got this. You can do this.