When pursuing mediation to help resolve contested issues in your divorce, you may hope for the best in your efforts. However, your expectations can guide how you interact in your mediation sessions and ultimately affect how you feel about the outcome of your divorce agreement. Our Colorado Springs court-approved mediator at Peak Mediation shares why setting realistic expectations can benefit you during your mediation process.
Why You Should Set Expectations
Before you enter mediation, you may be unsure what to expect from the process. By setting expectations for your mediation sessions, you can help yourself prepare for a realistic outcome. Some benefits of setting reasonable expectations for your mediation process include:
- Helping you have a realistic frame of mind on what you should leave your mediation sessions with,
- Helping guide your mediation strategy,
- Creating a “reality check” and helping you better understand what to expect in your process,
- Not setting your bar too low or too high when creating agreements on contested issues, and
- Helping you mentally prepare for how you will feel after each mediation session.
You should begin expectation setting before your first mediation session, as this can be helpful to understand your feelings about the mediation process.
What You Should Consider
When setting your expectations, being mindful of your mediation and divorce situation can be extremely helpful. Before you begin mediation, you should think about:
- What is my top priority in mediation? What are the most important contested issues to me?
- Am I willing to compromise on my top issues? If so, which ones?
- How would I like to approach my mediation sessions? Do I want to be collaborative?
- How would I like to feel after my mediation sessions?
- Are these expectations realistic?
With those questions in mind, you should begin to prepare how you would like your mediation sessions to go and set expectations for the process. Know that you should reevaluate your expectations after each mediation session to prepare for the next steps of the process, especially if you learn your expectations are not realistic.
When You Should Check In With Your Expectations
After each mediation session, check-in with your expectations regarding mediation. You should ask yourself:
- Am I meeting my expectations?
- Are my expectations too high?
- Am I exceeding expectations?
- Is there something I wish had gone differently?
- Am I happy with how my mediation process is going?
- Do I feel good about the mediation process?
If you believe that you are not meeting your expectations for mediation, you may need to reevaluate your approach. You may find that you can adjust how you approach your mediation sessions or prepare yourself for a different than expected outcome. Your attorney may ask you how you feel about the mediation process as it goes along.
When reevaluating your expectations, you may also need to decide if you believe that mediation is working for you and your spouse. If you believe that mediation is not working for your specific needs, you may need to change your approach to another alternate dispute resolution (ADR) tactic, such as arbitration. However, ADR may not work for everyone and you may have to finalize your divorce through litigatory efforts. Your attorney can help you understand when this is the case and begin preparing for litigation.
Colorado Springs Court-Approved Mediator
At Peak Mediation, our court-approved mediator is dedicated to giving you the peaceful dissolution of marriage that you deserve. If you believe that your expectations are not matching the reality of your mediation situation, you may need to reassess your mediation goals and your expectations for the process.
Are you preparing for mediation? Call (719) 259-5944 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with our court-approved mediator and learn more about alternate dispute resolution.