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Things Not to Say in Divorce Mediation

 Posted on May 16, 2024 in Mediation

Lombard, IL divorce lawyerMediation is a great legal tool that helps parties in a dispute come to a settlement before ever getting to court. In a divorce, spouses who disagree on elements of the divorce often can resolve their differences in mediation. This helps both parties avoid a costly and messy court battle.

While you are not required to have an attorney present in mediation, it is highly recommended. An Illinois divorce attorney can help you navigate the mediation process and negotiate the best outcome. But whether you bring an attorney or attend mediation on your own, know that saying certain things can hurt your chances of a positive result.

This article will discuss what mediation is and what to avoid saying during a mediation session.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is where two parties negotiate with the help of a mediator. A mediator is a professional negotiator and neutral party appointed by the court. Some mediators are former judges who use their skills and experience to help parties settle a dispute.

In a mediation session, the mediator meets with both parties together. He or she will then separate the parties, placing each in a separate room, and go back and forth between them. The mediator will try to get each party to compromise until they agree to a settlement.

Mediation is often effective, which is why judges usually order divorcing couples to attend mediation after they file the divorce petition.

What Should I Avoid Saying in Mediation?

Under Illinois law, most things said in mediation are confidential and not even submitted to the court. All the mediator tells the court is if there is a settlement or not. But there are exceptions to this rule:

  • Threats of bodily harm: While emotions may run high in mediation, avoid saying things like “I will kill you.” If taken the wrong way, a mediator may report you, and that can hurt your case.

  • Threats to commit a crime: Avoid saying things like “I will burn the house down before I let him have it,” even if you do not mean it.

  • Threats to a child’s well-being: If you are trying to get custody of your child, avoid saying things that will make the mediator concerned for the child’s safety, even though you do not mean them. Threatening to take the child to another country, for example, may be reported.

There are also things you should avoid saying because they will not help create a productive dialogue. For instance:

  • Avoid making accusations or statements of blame.

  • Avoid giving ultimatums — mediation is about compromise.

  • Avoid trying to outsmart your spouse or the mediator with legal strategies. The mediator likely knows all the strategies available, and mediation is about finding a middle ground.

Contact a Wheaton, IL Mediation Attorney

Even if you consider yourself a great negotiator, you are likely to get the most out of mediation with the help of a Lombard, Illinois mediation attorney at your side. At A. Traub & Associates, our attorneys are tough negotiators, highly skilled in mediation, and aggressive in defending your interests. We are a large firm that excels at offering our clients a friendly, personal approach. Call 630-426-0196 to start preparing for mediation today.

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