Written by: Samantha Redd, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Ok, you have made it this far when dealing with your narcissist; you are getting or have gotten your divorce settlement and are now working on how best to protect your children from their toxic parent. Unfortunately, you will have to mediate with the other parent when all you know is that they are out for revenge. Their desire to make you “pay” for leaving them is their ultimate goal.
Mediation is your best chance to decide how you want your custody to go. However, it is crucial to negotiate smartly to get an outcome you can live with.
The first thing you should do is gather your list of realistic non-negotiables. This list will be your guiding force, and when proposals are offered, you will know what you can bend on and what is a show stopper. It is essential to be realistic with your non-negotiables because creating your dream list will set you up for disappointment in the negotiating process. You most likely will not get your dream list if you end up in court. You’ll be at the mercy of the judge. Non-negotiables let you know where your wiggle room is and where your boundaries start.
The second step is to know what you are up against, and you must now profile your ex. Does your ex know what motivates you, because if your ex does, they will be throwing everything at you to keep you off guard and frustrated. You’ve already created your list of non-negotiables so the attacks won’t affect your negotiating, but now you need to figure out what motivates them. Does your ex love holding onto his money while spending yours, or is looking like the perfect parent their motivation? Knowing what they hold onto dearly and factoring that into your non-negotiables is two parts of the three-part solution.
The last part is to breathe! Hopefully, no one has a gun to your head, and you can go into your mediation session with a clear head and a calm heart. I’ve noticed a common theme of someone in the mediation room putting pressure on you to negotiate and come up with an agreement. That person could be your ex, your lawyer, their lawyer, or even the mediator. DO NOT FEEL PRESSURED!
While it is in your best interests to negotiate and come up with an agreement you can live with, I often see bad agreements made because you succumb to the pressure and want to be done. You are working on a contract that you and your children have to live with, so do your part to have a team that supports you before, during, and after the mediation like a therapist, a lawyer, and a high conflict divorce coach like me.
Samantha Redd, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Samantha Redd is an expert in trauma recovery through using shadow work and her death doula training. She works with moms who are domestic violence survivors in high conflict divorce by using a mix of real-world experience and a unique view of spirituality to educate, heal, inspire, protect, and rebuild her clients and help them find their purpose. Samantha has a Ph.D. in Chemistry and uses her expertise in that field to help her clients understand the link between stress and sickness. In addition, she has dedicated her life to helping people recover from loss and find their way back to their true selves as a way of honoring the growth that comes with that loss. She is also the CEO of Decoding the System and has been helping people with grief for 20 years. Samantha is also a high conflict divorce survivor and wears a mask and pen name because she can only be present and a light for others by hiding in the darkness.