If you are going through a divorce, mediation is often a less expensive, less emotional, and less time-consuming path forward. While not every divorcing couple is ready for mediation, if your divorce is moving in that direction consider yourself ahead of the game. Here are some tips that can help you get the most out of the mediation process.
Tip 1: Don’t Forego Professional Legal Counsel
Mediation is a great alternative to going to court, but this does not mean that you should go without the professional legal counsel of an experienced California divorce attorney. You’re going to be making compromises in mediation that will significantly affect you and your children’s future. Your dedicated divorce attorney will help make sure that you don’t lose sight of your priorities and goals throughout what will almost certainly be an emotionally exhausting process. Without legal counsel, you might be tempted to concede more than you should.
Tip 2: Organize Your Thoughts and Your Financial Documents
Mediation is all about compromise. If you go into mediation with a solid understanding of your financials, it’s going to help you better protect you and your children’s rights throughout the process. This doesn’t mean that you have to commit every detail to memory. Instead, organize your financial documents, familiarize yourself with them, and allow this working knowledge to guide you. It’s easier to find viable common ground when you are well versed in your own financial circumstances.
Tip 3: Check Your Emotions
Divorce is often fraught with difficult and complicated emotions – there is no way around this. If you are heading to mediation, however, it means that you are committed to attempting to find compromises that you can both live with. Make a concerted effort to keep your anger and your emotions in check. Mediation isn’t the time to work through them. You are there to get a job done, and airing angry emotions isn’t going to help you accomplish this important task.
Tip 4: Know What You and Your Children Need
If you go into mediation without a clear idea of what you and your children need to move forward in your post-divorce lives, it makes negotiating that much more difficult. By prioritizing your goals, you’ll have a better feel for where you’re willing to compromise more completely and where you need to stand your ground. The basics of divorce generally involve:
- Child custody arrangements
- Child support
- Spousal support
- The division of marital property
While these are all distinct issues that can’t be used as weapons against each other, it is important to understand your priorities within each category and to negotiate accordingly.
The fact that you and your divorcing spouse are both willing to move forward with mediation means that you’re likely to be successful in this endeavor. Working closely with a knowledgeable California divorce lawyer will help you make compromises that you can live with in order to obtain a divorce settlement that reflects your priorities.