Divorce is a long, challenging road. Couples bicker and disagree, but when divorce papers are served, it’s time to move on to the next chapter in life. The transition is difficult, and mediation can help to move the divorce along smoothly.
Mediation enables couples to reach an amicable agreement without soaring attorney fees.
The mediation process revolves around making decisive decisions. A mediator is there to ease the burden of divorce, but it’s up to the couple to make the final agreement. The mediator is an asset that provides a non-bias input into the divorce proceeding.
Three tips to help couples push through mediation are:
1. Discuss and Agree to Mediation
Mediation isn’t required in most states. Couples need to sit down together and decide to ask a mediator to help them come to an agreement on pertinent divorce matters. A good faith agreement is needed to start the mediation process.
Spouses need to prepare for meaningful conversations. Mediation requires participation and willingness to compromise from both parties.
Couples trying to determine if mediation is a good choice need to sit down and weigh the pros and cons of first. If a spouse is forced into mediation, it often ends in heightened resentment and arguments.
Before scheduling mediation, come to an agreement on:
- Who will pay the mediation fees?
- What times work for both parties to go to mediation?
If you can both come to an agreement that mediation is best for you, it will make the process go along smoothly.
2. Set Mediation Goals
Every mediator takes a different approach to help their clients. A plan must be set based off your situation to work through mediation with your goals in mind. Professional mediation will revolve around your goals.
The goals you set can be based on:
- Child custody issues
- Asset division
Your range of acceptance will help you establish mediation goals. A few questions to consider are:
- What will your finances look like after divorce?
- Are you willing to have split custody of your children?
- Are you willing to sacrifice assets for more money or to keep the house?
Sit down and come up with a post-divorce budget. A budget will clarify your needs following a divorce.
3. Choose an Experienced Mediator
Mediators with experience will be better prepared to help you work through your divorce. Research mediators instead of choosing the first person you find. You’ll be required to share intimate details about your life, so keep this in mind when researching mediators.
Attorneys with a focus on collaborative divorces tend to offer the best mediation.
These professionals have legal training and experience to deal with difficult divorces. They’ll also be able to help clients stay within the boundaries of the law during mediation. Research your desired mediator’s:
Ask your mediator questions, and determine if he or she is the right choice for you.
Mediated divorces allow couples to work through their issues in a calm, neutral setting. The mediator’s job is to ensure that each party’s wishes are considered, and everyone gets a fair chance to discuss their concerns.