Top 5 Tips On How To Prepare For Divorce Mediation
Once you are determined that divorce is your only option in your situation, you should consider divorce mediation. Divorce mediation is an amicable, cost-effective way to resolve your divorce without destroying the financial future of your family and avoids the stress and emotional turmoil of traditional divorce litigation. Here are some important tips to effectively prepare for a successful mediation of your divorce case.
1. Make The Decision To Mediate
Both you and your spouse should make a determination as to whether you can mediate your divorce case. The only way that divorce mediation can be successful is with both spouses wanting to mediate.
2. Get Your Financial Records Organized
Once you have decided to mediate your divorce, the next step is to get your financial organized. That includes current bank account, mortgage, retirement account, and loan monthly statements. Also, start taking an inventory of all of your household possessions and belongings, and all other assets and debts of the marriage. Finally, pull together your pay receipts, income tax returns, and other documentation concerning the parties’ incomes. If you or your spouse is self-employed, gather corporate tax returns and profit-loss statements.
All of these records will be necessary to complete the financial disclosures that are required to be done and served in all California divorce cases. Such records also help determine the financial and property issues to be addressed in mediation. The sooner those records are available, the sooner that mediation can proceed.
3. Create a Mission Statement For Your Divorce Mediation
Create a “Divorce Mission Statement” about what your goals are for the resolution of your divorce case. It will help you focus on how to achieve the best resolution of your case in divorce mediation. You and your spouse should really give some thought about such statement, which will help focus the purpose of the mediation and the issues that demand the most priority.
4. Make Your Children Your Top Consideration
Be sure to be honest with your children about divorce, but talk with them and your spouse together about it. Also, limit personal feelings and anger with your spouse in front of your children, to avoid any lasting negative impact on them. Above all, make sure that you and your spouse show your children that they are loved and supported. You and your spouse will always be parents to your children, and while they are still minors, you will both need to communicate and work together to co-parent effectively.
5. Research Divorce Mediators Before Choosing One
It is important to know that not all persons who do divorce mediation actually have training in mediation or in divorce mediation. Moreover, many persons currently mediating divorce cases are not even lawyers. Although it is currently not a requirement, you generally want the person who will mediate your divorce case to have the legal background in family law and divorce to be knowledgeable in this area of law and the experience to handle the issues to be addressed in mediation.
To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, “What is Divorce Mediation.”