If you and your spouse have agreed to try and resolve issues related to your divorce at a mediation, you may be nervous and unsure of what to expect. This is perfectly understandable. Here are five tips for your divorce mediation:
Proper Preparation Essential
To have an effective and efficient mediation, you should come prepared with the necessary paperwork including a comprehensive list of the following:
- Bank accounts
- Brokerage accounts
- Retirement accounts (e.g., IRAs, 401(k)s)
You also need to have a comprehensive list of all your debts including the current balance and monthly payment on credit cards, personal loans, student loans, mortgages, and so forth.
Mediation is About Negotiation, Not Emotion
A key reason mediations fall apart is that the parties are not interested in reaching an amicable resolution. Instead, they arrive to the mediation with a grudge and refuse to budge even an inch. This is a major mistake. You need to keep in mind that the past is the past. A mediation is not intended to heal hurt feelings. A mediation is a forward looking, proactive process to resolve any issues and, hopefully, reach a settlement so you and your ex-spouse can move on with your lives.
Do Not Treat the Mediator as Your Enemy
A mediator is unbiased and trying to help both sides reach a resolution. Though, a common strategy for mediators is to speak to each party individually and discuss, in a frank manner, the strengths and weaknesses of their case. Do not interpret these discussions as being adversarial to you personally. Always remember that the mediator is doing their job and is neutral in examining your case. If you have specific concerns, express them to the mediator. Do not resent them and the role that they play in this process.
Know What You Want and What You Need
A mediation can be completed more effectively if you know, going in, how much money you need to support yourself, and how much money you can afford to pay to your spouse (if alimony is an issue). You should base this amount on a sober assessment of your expenses. This expense summary should include:
- Household expenses
- Car payments
- Health insurance (including co pays and deductibles)
Contact an Experienced Tempe Family Law Mediator
The Law Office of Ronald L. Kossack has decades of experience in family law, including helping people through divorce mediation. Our firm assists Arizona residents in Tempe, Phoenix, Mesa and surrounding areas. Our ability to help couples negotiate terms of a divorce through mediation allows us to simplify the process substantially and save you money. To speak with an experienced Tempe family lawyer, or to schedule a free initial consultation contact us online or by calling 480-345-2652.