What Can I Do Before My Divorce Mediation?
A divorce proceeding has many possible conflicts that require hearings and much evidence. Sometimes hearings can be avoided altogether by bringing a mediator into a proceeding so that you can settle differences before it reaches the court stage. Disagreements in divorces are altogether common, and it’s certainly understandable why. People disagree about child custody, alimony, visitation rights, asset distribution, and unfortunately much, much more. In every divorce, the best interests of the children should always be the first and foremost thought in each parties mind, but sometimes this just isn’t the case, and clients will have to fight an angry spouse on any number of issues in order to come to a mutually beneficial agreement. If mediation fails, then it’s onto the courts who will decide the outcome of each disagreement.
SPODEK LAW GROUP has over 40 years of experience in divorce proceedings, and we know when mediation will work and when it’s worth trying. Skilled lawyers like our team are capable of using divorce mediation in any disagreement that might be going on during your divorce proceedings. The great thing about mediation is that when it works, it keeps both parties out of the court room and more focused on the issues at hand. Amicable divorces are rare, but they DO happen! And it gets all that much easier when you have an experienced law team on your side. Here are just a few things you can do to prepare for your mediation.
Organize your documents
More specifically, organize financial documents. Disorganization can be poison to any mediation proceeding due to the precise nature. In any kind of legal matter, what you need is documentation or cold, hard facts. Emotional appeals don’t work in divorce proceedings, and if you make a claim, you need to back it up. The kind of documentation you need depends on the issues at hand. For child custody, you’re likely going to need income statements and other financial information that can help determine what child support is fair for your situation. In child custody situations where one spouse believes the other spouse should not have joint custody, you’re going to need documentation that supports your arguments. Your legal team will know which documents to ask for and will prepare them with you if you desire. A good lawyer goes out of their way to prepare you for mediation.
Know your rights
Mediation has rules just like anything else, and you have certain rights during mediation. Learn about mediation through books, online resources, and most importantly ask your lawyer good questions! They are the people who have experience in this field and know what goes on during mediation as well as what documents you need to bring with you. If you’re going to give a true try at mediation, your lawyer is always your best friend. You also have a true right to make sure that you’re being treated fairly before and during the mediation. Don’t be shy about asking your lawyer questions, speaking with the mediator alone if you feel something isn’t quite right, and learning more about the process if you feel that something isn’t quite right about it. Not all mediators are good at what they do. Others are simply wonderful. You need to be comfortable during the mediation process, and if you’re not then you have the right to step back and ask, “What’s going on here?”
Keep a level head
So many people are nervous about mediation, and that’s entirely understandable. Legal proceedings aren’t any fun for anyone, and the truth is that during something as painful as a divorce, no one wants to be sitting there hashing things out in such a cold, emotionless setting. The mediator should do a good job of putting both parties at ease and making them feel like they have an open platform to truly discuss their differences and what kind of arrangements would make each party more comfortable. Above all, you need to go into mediation with a clear, level head. Before entering mediation, ask yourself:
– What are my goals?
– What is my optimal outcome?
– What can I compromise on?
– What won’t I compromise on?
Your legal team will sit down with you so that you have a clear game plan going into mediation. You won’t go in blindsided or without solid legal advice.
So many people are too timid when it comes to hashing out differences. In mediation, this simply won’t work. You need to be committed to voicing your opinions and your evidence during the entire process. You can speak through a lawyer, but make sure that the lawyer is very CLEAR about your needs and wants. While they may steer you in a different direction or give you advice, and it’s always wise to take it, you have every right to let them know when you disagree or don’t. Don’t be shy! This is your time to truly discuss differences and let your clear voice be heard by the people who need to hear it.
Mediators focus on the needs of both parties. They’re not on your side or your spouse’s side. What they want is for both people to think together as a unit and come up with the best possible solution for both people, and of course they always want what’s best for the children because that’s what the court looks for most of all. They want two parents who truly are making decisions based on the interests of the children. This is the hallmark of a responsible parent and if there are custody issues at stake here, it’s vital to have a legal team on your side.
Call SPODEK LAW GROUP Today
If you’re about to go through a mediation proceeding and feel like your lawyer isn’t doing a good job or if you and your spouse want to use mediators during your proceedings and you have even gotten started, it’s time to call us. Please call today and let us help.