When you and your spouse decide to file for divorce, you can expect a bumpy road ahead. After all, not only are you dividing your assets, your possessions, and essentially the life you've built together, but it can be an emotionally draining time for everyone involved. By choosing divorce mediation instead of going through traditional litigation, you are at least saving yourself the additional headache of attending court hearings and paying exorbitant attorney fees, and you can absolutely still get the desired outcome from your divorce mediation proceedings. According to SplitSimple, a Denver Divorce Mediation Service, going into mediation with the right mindset is key. Here are some ways to help your divorce mediation progress smoothly so that you can come out on the other side with as little emotional and financial damage as possible.
Agree to Divorce Mediation
If you and your soon-to-be-ex have already agreed to divorce mediation, congratulations, you're already a step ahead of the game. Making the choice to settle your divorce at a mediation table rather than drag each other through court proceedings is the first step in obtaining a divorce with as little stress and hardship as possible. If you have not yet agreed to divorce mediation, it is definitely worth a second look, especially if you are both interested in dissolving your marriage and dividing your assets quickly, fairly and with little drama.
Once you have agreed to divorce mediation, it is important to do your homework and organize all of the information you have about your assets, possessions and bank accounts, whether it is yours or it belongs to your spouse. All of your real property (house, rental properties, vacation homes), vehicles (cars, trucks, boats) and personal property (jewelry, art, furniture) of value should be itemized. Additionally, individual and joint savings accounts, checking accounts, IRAs, stocks, bonds, annuities, credit cards and any other financial product that belong either to you or your spouse should also be included in your list. Be sure to also gather all information that relates to your household income, including paystubs from you and your spouse, mortgage and auto loan statements, and any statements for credit cards, phone, utilities, student loans, groceries, or any other expense you or your spouse must pay on a monthly basis. Be as detailed as you can, as this will help your divorce mediation process go more quickly and smoothly.
Discuss your Terms
Once you and your soon-to-be-former spouse have collected the necessary information regarding your assets, possessions and financial obligations, it is a good idea to let each other know what you each want out of your divorce mediation procedure. What will you absolutely not let go of? What will you not mind giving to him? By creating a rough outline of what you hope to gain when all is said and done, you will be able to see areas where your divorce mediator will need to step in for negotiation, and other areas where you can compromise without a fight.
Consider your Children's Feelings
If you have children, it can be helpful and healthy both for you and for them if you can reach a custody solution without the assistance of a mediator. By creating a custody plan that is in your children's best interest and gives each of you an acceptable amount of time with them, you can allow them to face this often traumatic and painful transition without feeling as though you are playing tug-of-war with them. If you are able to discuss matters like custody and child support in an adult, civilized way, you can spare your children's feelings and avoid having them hear you call each other names or attack one another. If making important decisions about the wellbeing of your children is something you can do on your own without an argument, this will allow your divorce mediation process to be much quicker than if you can't agree on your terms and require your mediator to settle any disputes that arise.
Do Your Due Diligence
Like attorneys, not all mediators are created equal, After agreeing to divorce mediation, make sure to do your research and select an experienced, reputable mediator who has a lot of positive feedback from clients. Not every person who hangs a “Divorce Mediation” shingle on their door has received proper mediation training, so make sure the mediator you choose is certified, has attended mediation training courses from an accredited source, and has had a good amount of experience with divorce mediation. This information can only benefit you in the long run.
Choosing divorce mediation over litigation is one way to make a bad situation a bit better by leaving courtrooms, lawyers and judges out of the equation and settling your divorce in a much more costly and efficient way. You and your soon-to-be-ex spouse control how simple and painless your divorce will be when you opt for divorce mediation- by remaining civil, leaving emotion out of the proceedings, and being willing to compromise on a few points, your divorce mediation process can go quickly, getting you to the next phase of your life as quickly as possible.