A divorce mediation attorney can save you thousands of dollars compared to going through the court system. In order to reduce your expenses even more you should prepare for the mediation ahead of time. This means arriving with the necessary documents and with the best mindset possible. Divorce can be a difficult time and this is especially true when fundamental issues remain unresolved. These issues may include child custody, financial support, the division of property and much more.
When you use a divorce mediation attorney and are prepared ahead of time, you’ll be able to walk into your first session with more confidence. You won’t have to waste a lot of time trying to come up with the information that the mediator would need to help you resolve an issue on the spot. When you come with the right documents, the issues that are being addressed at the time can be examined thoroughly instead of being put off until the next session when you do have the documents.
Some of the documents you may be asked to bring include the following:
- A list of the key topics you want to be discussed
- A list of properties, debts, and assets
- Insurance details
- Mortgage papers
- Court documents
There are many other documents as well that you may be asked to supply but this will be determined by the mediator. When you have your free consultation you should ask what documents will be required so that you are ready for your first session. You should also have a means of payment set up and information regarding the times you are available for your mediation sessions.
Mediation sessions can be held either online or in person. If you’re going to be organizing meetings online you’ll want the full details regarding how they will be set up. If you’re going to be meeting in person you’ll need to know where the office is, how to get there and what the parking availability is in the area. You should have your route mapped out beforehand so that you can be sure that you’ll arrive on time.
It’s important to take a look at all of your upcoming commitments before scheduling any follow-up appointments for mediation. You’ll be scheduling time with the mediator and with your soon-to-be spouse so canceling an appointment can cause a lot of confusion. Bring along your calendar and be sure to make appointments only when you’re sure you’ll have available time.
You’ll need to gather up the paperwork from any accounts you hold. This may include loan documents, credit card information, bank statements, and any other type of information related to your finances that may be important. A lot of people these days are handling all of their finances online and don’t have anything in paper form. It’s important to get paper documents, however, and these can be provided by your bank or other financial institution if necessary. You may also be able to simply print out your details directly from the Internet by using a printer.
The mediator may need to contact other individuals and professionals during the mediation process. You should have a list of these people along with their contact information. Examples of the individuals that the mediator may want to get in touch with can include banks, financial advisors, brokers etc. The mediator you’re working with may not have to reach these people but it’s always handy to have their contact information available ahead of time.
If you have any court documents relating to your divorce or any other issues surrounding it, be sure to make a copy of them and bring them in. Many people that use a divorce mediation attorney have already started proceedings using the court system.
Topics to Discuss
Write down all of the key topics that you feel need to be discussed. There may be some topics included that your mediator may not know about. The mediator does not know all the details of your personal life and there may be some important issues that need to be brought to the table in order to get a full resolution of the case.
If your children are going to daycare or are involved in extracurricular activities you’ll need to bring these documents as well. You’ll be discussing health insurance for the children as well as other health needs such as dental and eye examinations. Any documents that you may have regarding the financial aspects of raising your children should be brought along since this will be an important topic of discussion along with the matters of child custody and child support.
The Right Mindset
In order to get the most out of your mediation sessions you need to walk in with an open mind and a lot of patience. Think of the things that you would be willing to negotiate on and those that are non-negotiable. You should understand that there will be a lot of give-and-take between you and your ex-partner and you may not get everything you’re looking for. The best solution is one that satisfies both parties and is something that they are willing to live with.
There is always give-and-take in life and nothing can be perfect. The mediator is there to guide both parties toward finding the best solution possible without needing the court to intervene. When you use the court system the judge will decide and you may end up losing a lot more than you bargained for. Keep this in mind when doing your negotiating. If you can’t resolve the important issues between yourselves then a judge that doesn’t know you, your ex-partner or your children, will make these important decisions for you. You will be leaving your future in the hands of someone else and you may not be pleased with the outcome.
It’s always best to work towards a satisfying outcome but not a perfect one. This way you’ll be able to dissolve the marriage in the best way possible without having to feel any regrets about the decisions you made later on.