The process of divorce can be difficult for both parties, both financially and emotionally. A divorce is a major life change, so taking steps to make the process easier on you and your spouse is well worth it in the long run.
Resolving major issues in your divorce through mediation can be beneficial to both parties. Through the use of mediation, you can narrow down contested issues and discuss your positions on these matters with a trained mediator. The mediator will help you both work toward solutions on the contested issues that are amenable to both parties. If you are able to resolve all of these issues with the help of a mediator, your divorce will be finalized faster and it will cost a lot less to complete than if you and your spouse decided to battle it out in court.
EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION PRIOR TO THE MEDIATION SESSION IS IMPORTANT, BUT NOT REQUIRED
Effective communication between you and your spouse will go a long way in resolving contested divorce issues through mediation. Of course, this is easier said than done. Problems with communication between you and your spouse may have been a contributing factor to your divorce in the first place, so this may be a particularly difficult guideline to follow, but it is worth it.
If you and your spouse can have amicable discussions prior to your mediation session that will allow you to narrow down the main contested issues together, then that will be less time and money spent hashing these issues out with the mediator. You will both benefit by then using the mediation time wisely on just a few of the biggest issues that you are unable to resolve on your own. However, if your communications are too stressful, save them for your session. You mediator can help you communicate more effectively.
TAKE THE TIME TO PREPARE AND ORGANIZE BEFORE THE MEDIATION SESSION
Another thing you can do to help ensure that your divorce mediation session with your spouse is successful is to make sure that you are organized before attending the mediation. One way to get organized before your session is to make sure that you have all the relevant documents ready to go.
In divorce matters, financial issues are some of the most commonly contested issues between spouses. If you are able to attend the mediation session with your financial disclosure form and any associated supporting documentation that may be useful during the session, that will go a long way toward making the best use of your time.
Some of the documents that may be helpful to bring beyond your financial disclosure form include tax returns and up-to-date income information. You should also bring copies of insurance policies and documentation associated with any bank accounts and retirement savings accounts.
Another way to prepare for your divorce mediation session is to take time to organize your thoughts and write down what your goals are. Since the idea of mediation is to reach a compromise that both parties can agree to, you may not accomplish all of your goals, but it is smart to go into the mediation session with an idea of a resolution to each contested issue that you would be happy with. To further prepare for your session, make sure that you bring along a pen and paper to the mediation session so that you can take notes as issues are discussed during the session. You may not resolve all issues in the initial session, so taking notes can help you if you go back for a second mediation session.