Should I Meditate Before I Litigate or Mediate My Divorce?

Meditate-Picture-300x200Dealing with a divorce is always an emotional and tiring process – no matter whether your relationship ends amicably or otherwise. Sometimes, the best way to keep issues to a minimum is to choose a form of conflict resolution that requires as little input from the courts as possible. With a solution like divorce mediation, you can maintain more control over what happens during your divorce, and even choose the perfect outcome for you and your partner. Mediation also gives families the opportunity to maintain some semblance of a relationship after a divorce takes place, by keeping the tension between a mother and father, or husband and wife to a minimum. However, mediation isn’t the right option for everyone.

Mediation, just like any form of divorce strategy, requires careful strategy and consistent planning. You need to be able to go into your mediation sessions with the right attitude, and this is rarely as easy as it seems. Mediation usually requires some manner of compromise. You need to be able to be flexible if you want to negotiate effectively, and this means getting control over your emotions. I know it may sound a little hokey, but I find that sometimes, considering a brief period of meditation before mediation might be a good idea.

I’m not a medical health expert or a therapist, but my experience with mediation, litigation and divorce law over the years has shown me that certain emotional and therapeutic strategies can help to make the divorce process a lot simpler. Something like meditation can significantly reduce the feelings of stress and anxiety that you experience when going into the mediation process. What’s more, a period of meditation may even give you time to think more carefully about the goals and outcomes that you want to achieve during each mediation discussion.

Dealing with the Stress of Mediation

Compared to things like litigation, many of my clients consider divorce mediation to be one of the less stressful options for handling the issues and concerns of divorce. However, that doesn’t mean that there’s absolutely no stress involved with mediation. You’ll still need to discuss complex issues with your partner, and that can mean that emotions end up running high. When I’m working as someone’s lawyer, I can even take on my client’s stress to some degree. Their goals in the case become my goals. I want to do a good job.

How to prepare in the best way and making as good a presentation to the court whether it is in a motion, conference or trial can be something to raise anybody’s blood pressure. I have previously blogged about getting to the three-dimensional level of a conversation in a mediation. This level gets to the emotions behind certain statements or positions that people take in a mediation to get to the true meaning of things. So, understanding the emotions behind things can be important. However, when people react from an emotional level in their mediations or litigations, I find that it is usually counterproductive. Personally, I do better when I can let an emotional reaction pass through me and make statements and decisions from a more grounded place.

Meditation, or a session of mindfulness can help you to gain more control over your emotions while you’re engaging in the mediation process. Although a strategy like this might not be suitable for everyone, I have found that it helps me and others to get more focus when they’re trying to achieve their goals during a divorce case. In family law dispute, I often find that people are particularly vulnerable to emotional reactions. Nobody seems to be able to get our goats or push our buttons like family. There are lots of emotions when sitting across a table or a courtroom from a soon to be ex-spouse. People make decisions that don’t always make sense for themselves or their children when reacting from an emotional state. We’ve all seen it.

Grounding Yourself for Mediation

The more you allow your emotions to get the better of you when it comes to mediation, the harder it is to achieve your goals with your divorce. Some people end up cutting off their nose to spit their face. This happens all the time in cases when people fight about something worth let’s say hundreds of dollars in a case and pay their lawyers or mediators thousands of dollars in going back and forth about it. Or even worse having a trial about that simple object. Sometimes the fight is beyond the monetary value of an object, it could have serious sentimental value because it is a family heirloom or otherwise. If someone makes the decision that it is worth fighting for from a grounded place, rather than in the heat of an angry reaction, then it might be worth the fight. This divorce lawyer and mediator does believe that.

Getting to a grounded place isn’t always easy – particularly during an emotional time like a divorce case. Some people find that exercise is a great way to reduce stress and improve their quality of sleep. Other people find that they can accomplish more in their lives when they devote a small period of time to meditation each day. The key to success is finding a mindful way to manage your stress and emotions that works for you.

If you’d like to find out more about divorce mediation, family law or litigation and the things you can do to prepare for your upcoming negotiations, contact my office today at (516) 333-6555. We’ll be happy to schedule your initial consultation. Up to the first half hour is free. Mediating couples will need to do their free initial consultation together.