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Upset couple sitting in mediation for divorce

That Dirty Word In Mediation…“Compromise”

Oct. 13, 2022

Compromise is not a word any of us want to use when we’re resolving a conflict. Our inherent nature is to win.  However, in mediation, the key to success (and potentially saving up to thousands of dollars in fees) is to understand the power of compromise. 

When both parties are aware of and agree, to the best of their ability, to listen and at least consider possible solutions that aren’t exactly what they were thinking, then achieving equitable and livable results is doable. 

There are many important issues on which you may disagree with your spouse during a divorce. Issues such as child custody, alimony, and asset division can breed conflict, making it tempting to resort to courtroom battles wherein attorneys and a judge will hash out your problems for you. 

If you are nervous about mediation, it may be because you are worried that you will be pressured to compromise what is important to you. While in most cases mediation will require compromise from both spouses, this alone cannot solve all your disputes. The key to a successful mediation experience is accepting beforehand that you will have to bend on some issues. Even if you took your divorce to court, the judge can make a decision that you may not like. So, while mediation may require you and your spouse to compromise, it is still preferable to leaving it up to the courts to decide. 

Before you approach mediation, make sure you have a good idea of what you want out of the process. Know what you will ask for and what you are willing to compromise on. Also, try to get an idea of what your spouse wants and what he or she may not be willing to compromise on. You may not have to compromise on everything, so long as you and your spouse can be flexible and work out a separation agreement that meets both your needs.  

This can be hard to do on your own, which is why a skilled divorce mediator is such a valuable resource. A skilled mediator will work with both you and your spouse to help you negotiate an agreement and, just as importantly, can help you both feel good about the compromises you do have to make.