Everything you say can and will be used against you.

While these words are a warning to a person being arrested, they are wise words to heed while in the midst of a divorce mediation.

I’ll admit, executing a well timed verbal jab can make you feel good. Really good. You gave them what they deserved. You put them in their place. But in the context of a divorce mediation, what did you accomplish?

Most likely, you’ve put up an obstacle to a successful negotiation.

It surprises me how many times people sabotage their own mediation because they insist on insulting the other party. The recipient responds by hurling the flaming arrows back and digging in their heels. Negotiations come to a grinding halt.

Several times, I’ve had to take clients aside, and gently ask them something like this:

“What would you like to accomplish today? Would you like to leave here knowing you got to vent, or would you like to leave here with a parenting plan?”

Once the offending party realizes what they’re doing and stops the barbs, the defenses often come down, and the road is paved for negotiation and working together.

What about you? Is your mouth getting in the way of an agreement? Divorce Docs can help facilitate your discussion.


edited CC photo courtesy of Sean Loyless via Flickr