Divorce does not have to be a long, drawn-out, conflict riddled process. New non-confrontational options, such as mediation, are more popular than ever. Mediation is not only less expensive than a court battle, but it is also confidential, gives you and your spouse control of the process, can improve communication, and allows you to retain legal counsel if you wish.
Recently on our divorce forum a user asked, “If I am considering divorce mediation are there certain topics which I must discuss and what makes mediation successful over other forms of divorce?”
Success of divorce mediation
Divorce mediation is not the best option for everyone. In fact, many couples will find that the issues and attitudes of the spouses may simply be too contentious for medication. Other couples who have had issues with domestic violence, or verbal or physical abuse may also find it is better to have their divorce lawyers complete all negotiations.
What do you need for divorce mediation to work for you? Both you and your spouse must be willing to openly discuss all issues, compromise, negotiate and be determined to come to mutually satisfying decisions about your divorce.
What can we discuss at our divorce mediation?
Divorce mediation allows both parties to discuss all major issues of the divorce such as child support, spousal support, and property distribution. Some issues may also be negotiated without the mediator.
With this in mind, you will need to bring certain documents and information with you to the mediation. For instance, you will need a list of all of your assets: bank account, mutual funds, brokerage accounts, retirement funds, real estate, time shares, vehicles, businesses, expensive household items, annuities, stocks, equity in companies, and pending law suits. You also need information about all of your debts including loans, car loans, and your home mortgages.
You will also need to bring a good attitude. It is fine to be angry, resentful, or sad, but the mediation is a time to hold your emotions in check and be ready to negotiate, not fight. Stay calm and think about what you want and need to move on with your life.
The good news is mediation does not forfeit your right to legal counsel. In fact, many couples will want to hire a lawyer who understands the mediation process. If your goal is to stay out of court, make sure you hire an attorney who understands this is what you want.
Finally, come prepared with a budget. Information is power. If you know how much money you need to support yourself each month and have evidence of your expenses, it can allow you to work together with your spouse to create a fair and concrete budget.
Divorce mediation allows you to discuss any topics you believe are important. Understand your rights and obligations. Read about mediation, understand the terms used, and educate yourself on how to get what you want. Finally, make a list of topics you want discussed. Be proactive and stay calm.
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