Navigating Divorce Mediation in Michigan:Words to Avoid for a Smoother Process

The divorce attorneys here at The Kronzek Firm have helped
thousands of clients over the past few decades. Here, we’re delving
into some common statements that can hinder progress and
exacerbate conflicts during the divorce mediation process here in
Oakland County and all of Metro Detroit. Communication is key in
divorce mediation, and steering clear of certain phrases can
significantly contribute to a smoother and more productive process.
Let’s dive in:

  1. Blaming Your Spouse for Mediation Costs: Divorce is a
    complex journey that often involves two spouses arriving at a
    difficult decision. Pointing fingers about who initiated the divorce
    and using it as leverage in discussions about mediation costs
    can escalate tensions and impede progress. Remember,
    mediation is forward-focused, aiming to find solutions rather than
    assign blame. In Michigan, being a no-fault divorce state, such
    discussions are usually irrelevant. Mediation fees are typically
    drawn from the marital estate regardless of fault, or equally
    divided, so focusing on constructive communication is crucial for
    moving forward. The mediator and your divorce attorney will try
    to keep the conversations and negotiations on the right path
    toward settlement.
  2. Using Infidelity as Leverage in Parenting Discussions:
    Bringing up infidelity as a basis for parenting schedule decisions
    can derail productive discussions and detract from the focus on
    the children’s well-being. Michigan courts prioritize the best
    interests of the child when determining custody arrangements,
    regardless of the circumstances leading to the divorce. Rather
    than seeking retribution, it’s essential to focus on practical
    considerations such as work schedules, parenting styles, and the
    children’s needs to create a parenting plan that serves their best
  3. Resisting Equitable Division of Retirement Assets:
    Arguments against equitable division of retirement assets based
    on individual contributions or savings habits can hinder progress
    in mediation. Michigan law typically dictates a fair division of
    marital assets, including retirement accounts, unless specific
    circumstances warrant otherwise. However, mediation provides
    opportunities for creative solutions and compromises regarding
    asset division, allowing both parties to reach a mutually
    acceptable agreement. Equitable division often means dividing
    marital assets, including retirement funds equally between the
    spouses, regardless of whose name is on the account.
  4. Resisting Financial Responsibilities: Denying financial
    responsibilities such as spousal support (alimony) or equitable
    sharing of income and bonuses can lead to contentious
    negotiations. In Michigan, spousal support and financial matters
    are determined based on various factors outlined in Michigan
    law, and resistance in mediation can prolong the process and
    lead to unfavorable outcomes or maybe to no outcome at all
    other than a failed mediation. It’s crucial to approach financial
    discussions with openness and a willingness to negotiate in good
    faith for a fair resolution. Let your attorney guide you through the
    mediation process.

In conclusion, maintaining a positive and constructive attitude in
divorce mediation is critical for achieving a successful outcome and
settlement. Avoiding inflammatory statements and focusing on
collaborative solutions can facilitate smoother negotiations and help
both parties reach agreements that meet their needs and priorities. At
The Kronzek Firm, we’re committed to guiding our Oakland County
clients through the mediation process with expertise, experience and
compassion. Contact us for a consultation and let us help you
navigate your divorce journey with confidence and skill. You can reach
our Oakland County Family Law team by calling 248 479-6200. Our
attorneys are available 24/7 for crisis consultations. We are located on
Northwestern Highway in Farmington Hills.