Divorces cause a lot of trouble, we all know that. But you also should know that there is a process that might help you out a lot, and it’s called divorce mediation. Now, what is it exactly?
Mediation is a process of settling divorce negotiations with the help of a neutral third party. However, it is important to remember that the mediator isn’t fully in charge of the situation. In the end, it is up to you and your ex-partner to decide on what you agree, if at all. So, if mediation doe does not satisfy you, you could always take matters to court. But that’s exactly what divorce mediation is for, to prevent court carrying out decisions instead of you and for you.
Why complicate everything if you can just sit down and talk in the presence of a mediator who will guide you and prevent things from going out of control? But remember no chit-chat or arguing, mediation is all about negotiation. And for that, your preparedness becomes the key. Below are some helpful tips to follow while preparing for divorce mediation.
Finding the right mediator might be a challenging process. Divorce mediation is a relatively new concept and almost no state has laws designed to regulate its practice. So, you can imagine that chances are high the industry will be flooded with nonprofessionals. Therefore, keep in mind a couple of questions that you can ask a mediator before hiring him/her. Did they complete a basic mediation course? Are they certified specifically in family mediation and if yes, by which agency or organization. If needed, do not even hesitate and ask to see a certificate. You can also ask about how many cases they have mediated and how.
Get Everything Straight
No doubts during divorce mediation, never. The whole process becomes pointless if you are unsure about what you want from it. So, not to waste everybody’s time, come organized. You might even want to make a list, because why not?
Going through a divorce might make you reconsider the “sharing is caring” principle because it will most probably turn into a conflict of interests. Consider all of the property you and your spouse might have trouble sharing. If it’s the house or your favorite couch, doesn’t matter. Make a list of all property, from real to personal, from bank accounts to credit cards.
You might want to consider incomes as well. Pension disbursements, child support payments or loss statements. Think of every possible income that would be relevant to your situation, anything from health insurance costs to car loans and mortgage payments.
Stand Firm on What You Want
This is where you are going to build up on your lists. Now when you have everything sorted out to take a deep breath and think carefully about your priorities. Decide which are going to be the things you truly need and will insist upon till the end and what is less important for you. Everything in the middle will turn into variables which can shift during negotiation, so be prepared for that as well.
There are two factors you might want to pay special attention during divorce mediation: your children (if you have any) and your financial status. But remember that mixing the two would be the worst decision, especially for your kids. It is a common practice among couples to view custody or visitation rights in exchange for financial interests.
It is a good idea to put your budget on paper as well. Especially, if you will contrast your current status with the one, you will have after the divorce. This will give you a good ground for making important decisions during divorce mediation.
Avoid Getting Emotional
This is one of those traps which most people know but still fall into, and it’s clear why. You might feel hurt and angry but don’t let emotions get over your head. The decisions you make during divorce mediation will be consequential, so make sure you are as rational as possible. And this comes as the last tip because so much is going to depend on how well you’re going to handle your emotional state. You can throw away your lists if your negotiation is going to turn into a quarrel. So, before heading to divorce mediation, this is the last thing you want to remind yourself, probably a number of times.
Going through a divorce is a stressful experience even with mediation. Nevertheless, if you decided to settle your divorce through it, remember that only by preparing for everyhting you can hope for the best. Good Luck!