Divorce is never easy, and divorce mediation can be a lengthy and emotional process. To help streamline the process and make it as stress-free as possible, it’s wise to do some preparation beforehand. Here is a complete checklist for preparing for divorce mediation:
1. Educate yourself on mediation: Before starting divorce mediation, take the time to learn about the process. Read up on different aspects of mediation, what to expect during mediation sessions, and the pros and cons of the process. Talk to a trusted friend or family member who has gone through mediation and hear their experience.
2. Gather all relevant documents: You will need to gather all of your financial records, including bank statements, tax returns, investment statements, mortgages, and any other financial documents. Additionally, any other documents related to property, debt, and custody should be gathered as well.
3. Organize all documents into folders: Once you’ve gathered all of your documents, organize them into separate folders. Label each folder with clear and specific titles, like “bank statements for the past year” or “past income tax returns”. This way, you’ll be able to find the documents you need quickly.
4. Review your budget and expenses: Knowing your budget and expenses will be helpful in mediation. List out your monthly expenses and income, and calculate how much money you need to cover your living expenses. This information will assist you in determining a fair financial outcome.
5. Review your children’s schedules: Divorce can be especially hard on children, so it’s important to have a plan in place for their care. Make sure to plan a visitation schedule and take into account their school schedule and extracurricular activities.
6. Identify your goals: Before mediation begins, think about the goals you hope to achieve. Discuss with your mediator what you hope to achieve and set reasonable goals so that both sides can come to an agreement.
7. Practice self-care: Preparing for divorce mediation can be a difficult and emotional process. Take care of yourself by getting enough sleep, eating well, and practicing stress-reducing activities like yoga or meditation.
In summary, preparing for divorce mediation is an important process that can help make the entire process smoother and easier. Educate yourself on mediation, gather all relevant documents and organize them, review your budget and expenses, create a plan for your children, identify your goals, and practice self-care. By following this checklist, you’ll be better prepared for a successful mediation.