Divorce mediation is a process whereby a neutral third party helps a couple to negotiate and settle their divorce issues. It’s a more cost-effective and less confrontational way of ending a marriage than going to court. However, it’s not a magic pill that will solve all your problems overnight. One of the biggest mistakes people make is going into the mediation process without any preparation. Here are some tips on how to prepare like a pro:
Understand the Process
The first thing you need to do is educate yourself about the mediation process. Learn how it works, what you can expect from it, and what your role is. You should also understand the difference between mediation and arbitration. In mediation, you and your spouse make the decisions, while in arbitration, the arbitrator makes the decision for you.
Gather all Relevant Information
You’ll need to gather all the information about the assets and debts you and your spouse share. This includes financial statements, tax returns, bank statements, investment accounts, credit reports, and any other relevant documents. Make sure you know what you own, what you owe, and what you spend.
Make a List of All the Issues
Make a list of all the issues you need to discuss during mediation. This includes property division, child custody, child support, spousal support, and any other issues that may be relevant to your situation. Make sure your list is comprehensive and includes everything you want to discuss.
Establish Priorities and Goals
Once you’ve made a list of all the issues, you need to prioritize them. Decide which issues are more important to you and which ones you’re willing to compromise on. Establishing your priorities and goals will help you stay focused during mediation.
Consider the Consequences of Your Decisions
Think about the long-term consequences of the decisions you make during mediation. For example, if you agree to a specific child custody arrangement, you’ll be bound by it for years to come. Similarly, if you agree to a spousal support arrangement, you’ll be financially committed to it.
Take Care of Yourself
Divorce is an emotional process, so it’s important to take care of yourself. Make sure you’re eating well, getting enough rest, and exercising. You may also want to consider talking to a therapist or counselor to help you process your emotions.
In conclusion, preparing for divorce mediation is essential to achieving the best possible outcome. By educating yourself, gathering information, making a list of issues, establishing priorities and goals, considering the consequences of your decisions, and taking care of yourself, you’ll be in a better position to navigate the mediation process. Remember that mediation is about negotiation and compromise, so be willing to give a little to get a little.