Taking time to prepare yourself for a cooperative divorce mediation process will save time,  money, and relationships in the long-run. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t feel cooperative at the start of the process but these tips could help to improve your chances of an amicable resolution.

Are you and your partner ready for cooperative negotiations? If one or both of you hasn’t processed the emotions surrounding your split, then you have little chance of creating lasting agreements. Therapy and counseling are wonderful options to help you prepare for mediation if you are not yet emotionally prepared to negotiate.

Separate the emotional from the negotiations. You must recognize when emotion is getting in the way of collaborating. Try not to let your emotions interfere with rational thinking. Emotional thinking can lead you down the wrong road.

Pay attention to how you communicate: Communication problems is a commonly cited reason for the breakdown of the marriage.  To have a successful mediation process, you’ll need to apply positive and productive communication. This is the only way to resolve issues and differences. Having a neutral third party there to guide you will make a big difference. But, don’t forget to take a break if the talks are getting heated.

Separate the message from the messenger: Maybe it’s hard to even think of the other person just now, let alone make important decisions through cooperative communication. Try and separate the core message (content) from the tone, implied criticism and messenger’s voice. A good technique is to imagine someone you love, like or respect communicating the same message… what difference does this make? If you write or speak your reply as if you were writing/speaking to the person you love, like or respect… I promise you it will come across better and when things come across well you are more likely to get what you want. And of course, you are engaging in a sustainable way of communicating.

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