If you are facing a divorce, you – no doubt – have plenty of trepidation and plenty of questions. While no two divorces ever follow exactly the same path, there are some basics that apply to nearly every divorce. For one thing, the vast majority of Texas divorces are not litigated but are hammered out between the two parties themselves (often in mediation). If your divorce is headed toward mediation, there are several mediation strategies that can help you move forward with greater confidence.
Think Carefully About Your Divorce Goals
You are facing a divorce, and that means it is time to focus on your divorce goals. For instance, if you have children, their continued happiness and well-being is naturally your primary concern. Further, you likely have distinct goals regarding the child custody arrangements in your case. If you hope to remain in your family home with your children – as the primary custodial parent – this likely tops your divorce goals. Better understanding your overall divorce priorities will help you build a solid plan – rather than taking a scattershot approach.
There are two other specific situations that often need to be carefully prioritized:
- If you own a business, you will need to pay exacting attention to ensuring that you retain your fair share or ownership (depending upon the situation).
- If yours is a high-asset divorce, you will need to take a very detailed approach to the division of marital property. High-asset divorces are generally more complicated and time-consuming.
Recognize Where You Are Willing to Make Sacrifices
Divorce is all about making compromises, and both you and your divorcing spouse will enter mediation with goals in mind. If you can identify those areas in which you are willing to make sacrifices, you will be ahead of the game. Negotiations involve a give-and-take process, and when you prepare yourself ahead of time, it can make it much easier for you to think on your feet. If there is something that you know means a lot to your spouse, but that you are willing to walk away from, it can provide you with significant leverage at mediation. If, on the other hand, you adopt a strategy that involves not giving an inch regardless, you will not do yourself any favors.
Know Your Best-Case and Worst-Case Scenarios
Think carefully about what your best-case scenario and your worst-case scenario would look like. You are aiming for somewhere in the middle. Temper this information with your top priorities, and you will have a solid outline of your mediation goals and how best to proceed.