Divorces can be very emotional. After all, no one gets married to get a divorce. People feel sad, angry, bitter, and hurt.
So, is it okay to get emotional during mediation? Before we answer that question, here’s another: is it okay to cry when you are in front of a judge? Is it Okay to yell when you are in court? Call someone names? Usually, no. Judges don’t like emotional displays. Don’t raise your voice, don’t project hostility, and don’t cry.
And, think about it, most people would rather not get emotional in court. It is, after all, a public setting. It’s a room full of strangers: lawyers, the judge, the court reporter, and the clerk. Plus, here might people sitting in the back of the courtroom for their case to be called. Who wants to get upset in front of all of those people?
Mediation is far different. Although I work with many couples who get along very well, it isn’t uncommon for someone to break down in tears. Or to lash out. As people face the reality of spending less time with their children, or having less money to spend,, they get upset.
Is it okay to get emotional during mediation? The answer is yes, tears are fine. Anger, within reason, is okay, too, as long as the anger doesn’t become abusive, it is perfectly fine.
When you get emotional in mediation, there are only a few people in the room: your spouse, me, and perhaps lawyers.
Divorce is a very emotional time. It would be unfair to expect people to behave with complete rationality during mediation.