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What Can I Do Before My Divorce Mediation?

The road that leads up to a divorce being sought can be long and difficult. However, once the decision between two spouses to go through with it has been reached, a detailed plan will need to be set up in order for both parties to be able to move on with their lives. It may take time and effort, but starting a new chapter of your life after divorce doesn’t have to be more complicated than it should be. To help with this transition, many spouses choose to go through mediation. It can really help.

What Is Mediation?

Mediation is the process of meeting with a mediator in order to reach an agreement with both spouses for the terms of the divorce. Mediation can be a better and more affordable way to reach agreements without having to spend a fortune or tap into your savings or kid’s college funds. Attorney’s fees can really rack up when you are going through a divorce. It can also take a long time and cause lots of unnecessary stress.

Many people who are about to go through the mediation process want to know how best to prepare for it. Below are some great tips to follow in order to get ready for your upcoming mediation. For mediation, preparation on both sides will be the key to getting through the process much easier and quicker.

Agreeing To Mediation

In most states, the mediation process in a divorce is voluntary. The only way to go to mediation is if both parties agree to it. Many people don’t consider mediation because they think both parties have to be on great terms in order for mediation to be a viable option. While this is not exactly true, both spouses do have to agree to attend for it to work.

Do Your Homework

After both of you have decided to attend mediation for the divorce, you will need to get yourself prepared and organized. This can make the process go by much smoother. The mediator will not be able to help you figure out what to do with what you have if you don’t know exactly what you both have to work with. Make lists of everything you have and own. The list should include things like property owned, vehicles, assets, bank accounts, retirement accounts and other personal property items. You will also need to supply records of all of your income sources and liabilities. Most states will require divorcing spouses to fill out a financial affidavit for the resolution process.

Set Your Goals

After you know exactly what you have, you need to figure out what it is you want out of the divorce. This process can be very difficult on some people because you will be spending a lot of time trying to determine what is truly of importance to you. You should figure out what you can’t live without and what you would be willing to negotiate on. Have a list of your bottom-line goals. If you have children, keep any decisions about them separate from any financial decisions.

Put Kids First

While kids can be very resilient, divorce can still take a toll on them emotionally. They usually have no idea what is really going on. However, parents can help minimize the negative impact on them by effectively communicating what is happening. It affects their lives as well, not just the couple splitting. Even if you and your spouse don’t get along very well, it is essential to come together when confronting the children about the divorce. They deserve to hear from both parents that they are still very much loved and that all will be okay after this divorce.

Many states will require parents who are divorcing to go through co-parenting classes prior to a court judgement being issued. Trained mediators can help divorcing parents communicate more effectively and resolve issues to help parents be better co-parents through and after the divorce is finalized.

Research Mediators

Just like with anything you purchase, it is in your best interest to do your research before you hire a mediator. Not all mediators have been trained in mediation. A trained mediator will be able to help you more effectively reach agreements with your spouse. Mediation is becoming more popular as people are finding that affording lawyers is out of their budgets. Using a mediator is a great alternative because it offers an affordable and confidential way to achieve results that please both parties. The demand for mediation is growing. However, the regulations for how mediation processes are done have not caught up with the demand yet. With that in mind, buyer beware when hiring a mediator to use through your divorce proceedings.