The divorce process can be tiring and stressful. To make things easier, many couples plan to go through mediation instead of heading to court for litigation. Mediation has many benefits over litigation, such as saving time and money. Plus, it allows a couple to make their own decisions instead of relying on a judge to do so.
While mediation is not the same as going to court, you and your spouse will still be attempting to negotiate agreements regarding property division and child custody that may become the court order if the judge approves them. According to USA Today, preparation allows you to plan what you want so that you go into the process ready to make decisions and move swiftly.
Coordinate with your spouse
What makes mediation successful is the ability to cooperate with your spouse. You will have to work closely to resolve your marriage, so coordinating before the process is a good place to start. You should communicate about when and where to meet. You also may want to discuss your objectives for each session so you have a common goal.
Gather financial documents
You need to have documentation ready, including your financial records such as pay stubs and account information, and an inventory of your assets. Put together proof of all expenses, such as mortgage documents, utility bills and credit card statements.
Make a list of your expectations
You want to prepare yourself mentally for this process. Listing your expectations may help you to do this.
Determine what you must have and will not walk away without. Consider whether these things you will not compromise could be unrealistic demands. Note what you are willing to compromise and issues you feel may come up. List possible custody options and parenting plans for the children and any special concerns or arrangements regarding their schedules.
When you take these steps in advance, it provides focus, which can help you avoid becoming emotional and treat mediation like the business discussion that it is.