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Strategies For Effective Negotiation During Divorce Mediation

According to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, mediation offers several benefits, including greater flexibility, lower cost, and a faster process, when compared with more traditional legal options. However, making the most of these advantages and the process in general while securing an equitable divorce settlement requires an understanding of effective negotiation strategies. Learn about the approaches used during divorce mediation and the legal options available to those experiencing a marriage breakdown by contacting a Colorado family law attorney from the Colorado Divorce Law Group at (720) 593-6442.

Understanding Divorce Mediation

The American Bar Association defines mediation as a procedure whereby an impartial individual, known as the mediator, guides discussions between spouses and helps them reach an agreement regarding the separation of funds, property, and children. Throughout this process, the spouses can talk about their marital issues, share their feelings and interests, and discuss potential solutions. Mediation is a voluntary process since the spouses can opt out of agreeing, but if they do agree, the mediator can help draft a potentially enforceable written contract based on these discussions.

Worth noting is that mediators cannot make decisions for the parties and there are several ways in which mediation can progress. For instance, mediation often begins as a joint session and continues in this manner throughout the procedure, with the mediator describing the process and their role, helping to set up session agendas and ground rules, and allowing each spouse to submit their opening statements before moving forward. Some mediations may also involve separate sessions, with the mediator communicating with each party without the other present and sharing the discussion points with each spouse, which can be common if the relationship did not end on positive terms.

What Are the Strategies for Mediation Negotiation?

According to the Office of Justice Programs, four fundamental mediation negotiation strategies are:

  • Integration: When adopting this strategy, the mediator tries to help the parties reach a compromise within the spouses’ area of common ground.
  • Pressing: This refers to a mediator reducing the number of disagreement options.
  • Compensation: Conversely, this strategy involves the mediator expanding the alternative agreement options for the parties.
  • Inaction: This approach entails allowing the parties to handle the negotiation without the mediator intervening.

How Do You Get a Narcissist to Settle in a Divorce?

Narcissism refers to a personality disorder that generally results in a person becoming an excessive admirer of themselves and having an enhanced sense of their own importance. Below are some approaches an individual could adopt when divorcing this type of person.

Consider Separate Mediation Sessions


A narcissist may try to control the other spouse during mediation negotiations. One way of counteracting this is by insisting on separate mediation sessions whereby the mediator has discussions with each spouse individually and then reports these to the other party.

Get a more enhanced understanding of the various negotiation strategies associated with divorce mediation and explore how a Colorado family law attorney can aid individuals looking to get a divorce by reaching out to the Colorado Divorce Law Group.

Avoid Reacting to Them


This is effective because narcissists are more likely to continue behaving harmfully toward the other person if they notice that their efforts are having an impact. If the divorce involves children, the narcissistic spouse may try to use them for control purposes. In this scenario, avoid unnecessary arguments with the spouse, and be sure the child can freely discuss any issues they are having with the divorce.

Research the Divorce Process


Narcissists often attempt to control the divorce proceedings and intimidate the other party into thinking the process will not end well for them. Individuals can counteract this by being fully aware of their financial circumstances and thoroughly researching the divorce procedure.

How Do I Negotiate With My Ex-Husband?

In addition to the above, here are some other tips for negotiating with a former spouse during a divorce:

  • Be willing to compromise: Often, both parties cannot get exactly what they want. Compromising with the other spouse on certain issues might make it more likely for each party to come to an agreement.
  • Set goals: Rather than concentrating on winning, consider setting ultimate goals and keeping these in mind to ensure the negotiations remain focused.
  • Construct a case: After establishing goals, construct a logical and strategic argument, including your reasoning and replies to potential responses from the other party, and work on how to convincingly present these arguments.

What Are the Different Types of Bargaining in Mediation?

Two of the main kinds of bargaining strategies are distributive and integrative bargaining.

Distributive Bargaining

Distributive bargaining refers to handling negotiations in a way that aims to split a fixed number of assets, culminating in only one individual getting what they want. One underlying feature of this strategy is that each spouse aggressively negotiates with the other, treating them as someone they must defeat.

With this strategy, both parties have a target point, referring to what they would ideally want to achieve from the negotiations, and a resistance point, defined as the minimum acceptable result. Those using this approach typically attempt to get the other to come to an agreement that is as close to their target point as possible.

Integrative Bargaining

In contrast, integrative bargaining aims to reach a settlement that benefits both parties. Unlike distributive bargaining, this approach is more likely to foster long-term collaboration and maintain a positive relationship with the other person. When executed correctly, each spouse leaves the negotiations feeling like they have achieved their ideal result.

Contact a Colorado Family Law Attorney Today

If a divorce case goes to court, sometimes one or both parties may not receive the result they want. In contrast, mediation could lead to a settlement that benefits both people, provided each spouse carefully considers what they want and implements effective negotiation strategies beforehand. Find out more regarding the approaches for conducting negotiations during divorce mediation and discover how a Colorado family law attorney can help couples wanting a divorce by calling the Colorado Divorce Law Group at (720) 593-6442.