Mediation offers numerous benefits to divorcing spouses. For starters, it allows them to reach the best solutions, as they are the ones who make decisions concerning their arrangements. Further, it’s less stressful, involves less conflict, consumes less time and is confidential.
However, you need to be prepared to enjoy these benefits. Here are three tips for preparing for divorce mediation:
Learn how mediation works
Mediation is less complex than litigation, but you should know what to expect to avoid misunderstandings. Examples of aspects to know are:
- Do you need to make an opening statement?
- How much talking will you do?
- What will happen if you and your spouse disagree?
- How can you tell a proposal is reasonable? And so on.
Typically, the mediator will explain the mediation process and rules, but doing your homework before getting to the table can be beneficial.
Collect relevant documents
You need to gather all relevant documents that will be crucial when discussing child support and custody if you have kids, spousal support, property division and other matters. For example, you should gather and organize your financial documents, including bank accounts, retirement funds, real estate and debts, among others.
Be prepared to negotiate
You and your spouse chose not to go to court for everyone to walk away with the best solution. To achieve this, you need to be ready to negotiate. And the best tip for a successful negotiation is knowing how far you are willing to compromise. Knowing what to stand for and what to let go of can help you make good decisions.
Note that both of you don’t necessarily have to be in the same room during negotiations, especially highly debatable ones. You and your spouse can have private discussions with the mediator.
Divorce mediation can benefit you significantly if you are well-prepared for it.