During mediation with your soon-to-be EX, refrain from talking to anybody but your attorney about anything that could possibly pertain to the case at hand. Any “gossip” or harmful things said about your spouse can influence the judge and make him less likely to help you. This applies especially to Facebook and other social networking sites. It is extremely easy to find information on these sites and if your dirty laundry is out there, it will get back to your spouse even if you try to avoid it. Be wary of anything you put into writing or publish online, it can come back to haunt you.

In addition to keeping the judge happy, it helps immensely to be as cordial as possible with your spouse and work out anything you can prior to getting a judge involved. Judges will go out of their way to accommodate agreement between the two parties in anything from custody, to splitting up assets.

Once in negotiations, even cordial ones, if you make an offer, make sure to wait until your spouse replies before you do. The first person to respond is usually giving something up to advance the negotiations further, if you avoid being the first to respond, it increases your likelihood of getting what you want. Negotiation is a tricky business and is one of the main reasons that lawyers are essential to this whole unpleasant process.