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Tips to convince your spouse that mediation is the answer

Divorce mediation will save you time, money and an enormous amount of headache when it comes to bringing your marriage to a close. However, not all Tennessee couples will be able to go through the process.

In order for mediation to be successful, the spouses need to be able to work with one another in a civil and diplomatic fashion. As most readers of this blog are well aware, many divorcing spouses are incapable of agreeing on anything.

So what if your spouse won't agree to mediation? Maybe your spouse is erupting in anger at the very mention of the word "mediation," or maybe your spouse is calmly and logically trying to tell you why it won't work. Either way, let's see how you can respond.

How to respond to a spouse who doesn't want to mediate

If you're trying to convince your soon-to-be ex that mediation is the answer, you may encounter several common objections to the mediation process. Here's how you might want to answer them in a way that addresses your spouse's concerns:

-- I'm opposed to getting a divorce, so I won't agree to mediate. If your spouse comes at you with this one, try to diplomatically explain that you don't need his or her approval to get a divorce. Also explain that the mediation process is the kindest and most peaceful way to bring your marriage to a close, which allows you both to maintain some level of control over the divorce outcome.

-- I'm not looking for therapy. Remind your spouse that mediation may use conflict resolution tools and an understanding of human psychology, however, it is not relationship counseling. The process provides a non-adversarial method of coming to agreement on child custody, child visitation, child support, asset division and other legal issues pertaining to your divorce.

-- We always fight, so how can we agree with each other in mediation? An ability to come to mutual agreement independently would actually eliminate the usefulness of a mediator. Your mediator is there to help you overcome the natural human tendency to disagree in difficult situations. If you tend to get into fights and arguments, your mediator can help.

Talk to your divorce lawyer about mediation

Not all Tennessee divorce lawyers will automatically recommend the use of a family mediator. However, if you talk to your lawyer about the possibility, he or she will likely support the idea. After all, when mediation is successful, it's the clear choice for any spouse who wants to save money, time and stress in his or her divorce proceedings.

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