Divorces can be contentious. Before your divorce can be finalized, you and your attorneys must work through the division of assets, and alimony. (Note: Child support and creating parenting schedules can be finalized before or after your divorce.) Although these are just some examples, it is essential to remember several other factors could create challenges, such as co-owning a business with your soon-to-be ex-spouse and having multiple homes in various states (or countries).
One of the most significant hurdles is when one person refuses to negotiate. When one spouse feels that they have been wronged by the other, they may carry their emotions with them during the divorce process. Rather than working toward a resolution, they focus on retribution. Mediation can efficiently resolve the lingering issues you and your former spouse cannot agree on.
Feel Empowered Again
Although you can attend a mediation session without an attorney, it is strongly advisable to have one present. A mediator doesn’t represent you or your spouse. Should you decide not to have one, you should have already spoken to an attorney beforehand.
When you go to mediation with a lawyer, you will likely not be in the same room with your former spouse—and this is a very deliberate and effective way of working towards a resolution. Because you are in different rooms, the power differential is different. You will not have to yell, argue, or deal with someone trying to hurt you by refusing to settle. Not only should you feel empowered in your space, but you can take comfort in knowing there is no requirement to settle. If you are without an attorney, you can request to be in a separate room during that type of mediation as well.
During mediation, you will speak to your former spouse through a mediator who will work to identify and prioritize any outstanding issues. If your spouse makes a spiteful and unreasonable demand, such as having sole custody when it isn’t appropriate, you will not hear it, nor will you be forced to react in front of them which can save heartache and TIME!
An Insider’s Tip
Mediation is likely going to be an all-day event. Prepare yourself for this. We have seen too many mediation sessions fall apart between 2:00-4:00 pm because the parties were either exhausted or eager to leave. This is one of the reasons why you need a support system there with you. During these pivotal hours, it is important to focus on the long-term gains that can be made from mediation. We recommend bringing snacks and something comforting, like a song to listen to, a book, or even something that you like the smell of to calm you down and help you relax and focus.
North Carolina is a no-fault divorce state, but you must be physically separated for a year before a court will grant your divorce. During that time, you should have a separation agreement in place to protect yourself, your rights, and your assets. If you are about to go through the divorce process, you need an advocate who will support and advise you. Contact Easterling Law to schedule a consultation.