While it is rarely an easy decision to file for divorce, there are ways to make it a less painful process. If you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse do not have a history of abuse or manipulation, mediation may be a significant time and money-saver.
Divorce mediation is when the parties and their respective attorneys meet with a third-party mediator. This mediator is an impartial party. They are not financially motivated in either direction, so their goal is to arrive at compromises and agreements that serve both parties.
Make a mediation plan
Mediation will still give you and your spouse the opportunity to resolve lingering grievances while maintaining a certain level of respect and decorum. Attorneys and the mediator will guide the conversation if either party gets too heated or off-topic. Still, there are steps you should take to prepare for the negotiations.
- Do your pre-work: Have a detailed conversation with your attorney before the meeting to make sure you have the information you need. You will want a clear understanding of your family’s finances, including shared property, retirement and savings accounts and debts.
- Know your needs: Mediation will be your opportunity to negotiate any alimony or child support. Take the time to calculate what you’ll need to be financially secure post-divorce.
- Center your children: Understand that even if they aren’t in the mediation room with you, your children are feeling the pain of this separation. They need you both more than ever during this time. Keep in mind your goals of healthy co-parenting and consider what your spouse will need to maintain their own mental and financial well-being.
While mediation isn’t a workable option for everyone, it is a wise choice in certain circumstances. Talking your goals, needs and concerns out with your attorney will help you decide how best to proceed with your divorce.