We’ve discussed in this blog whether you should or shouldn’t use mediation, what it is, how it can help, etc. So let’s assume that you’ve decided to go through with the process. Where do you start? Divorce Mediator Michelle Rozen recently shared these eight things you should do prior to your first mediation session, and we want to share them here with you:
1) Bring organized financial documents. This includes a list of your assets, balances of your bank accounts, retirement funds, etc. For your debts, you need to know the balance and monthly payment of each. Bring proof of all accounts and debts. Try making a spreadsheet to keep your assets/debts organized.
2) Get your emotions under control. This is NOT the time to be hurtful, cruel, rude, etc. A successful mediation will be done in the most positive light that both parties can bring.
3) Prepare to negotiate, not argue. Arguing is not going to get either party anywhere. Let the mediator help you negotiate.
4) You can ask to speak privately with the mediator. If you have concerns that you can’t share in front of your spouse, you have options. Don’t let that get the best of you, but rather, ask to speak to your mediator individually.
5) Select a qualified attorney to advise you. Choose a family divorce attorney who will have your best interest in mind and fully understands your goals is having a short, inexpensive stress-free divorce process.
6) Plan a budget. If you don’t know how much money you need and how much you spend, it will be hard to have a solid understanding of what you’re negotiating for.
7) Learn your rights/obligations. Educate yourself on the process. Your attorney should be able to assist you in becoming knowledgable about what you’re going through and what you need to be aware of.
8) Put your concerns on the table. You could do this in writing, in fact, it’s recommended. Just because you’re not looking to argue doesn’t mean you shouldn’t come with a list of things that you strongly believe you shouldn’t back down from.