If you are divorcing your spouse, then you should consider using a mediator to help the two of you reach a mutually acceptable agreement. Although a mediator doesn’t have the authority to make decisions about your divorce agreement, they can serve as a neutral third party to facilitate an agreement regarding financial or co-parenting issues. Below, we discuss what you can do to get the most out of divorce mediation.
Preparing for Mediation
You should gather the following documents to get ready for mediation:
- Pay Stubs
- W-2s and/or 1099s
- Federal and State Tax Returns
- Credit Cards and Revolving Credit
- Annuities, IRAs, and Deferred Compensation
- Real Estate Property Valuation
- Partnerships & Business Interests Valuation
- Savings, Checking, Money Market, and CD Accounts
- Vehicles, Boats, and Trailers Valuation
- Retirement Accounts and Pension Statements
- Approximate Value of all Personal Property
- Real Estate Loans
- Copies of Trust Documents
- Copies of Any Pre-Marital Agreements and Wills
Set Specific Goals
Determining specific goals for the divorce can sometimes be difficult, however, you should spend time thinking about what’s really important to you and what you are willing to let go of. Make a list of these things and write down acceptable terms for what you hope to get and what you absolutely will not walk away without. You should also write down your current budget, as well as an estimate of what your budget will be post-divorce so that you have a clear picture of what you’ll need moving forward.
Set goals for alimony, child support, and a parenting plan too. The courts will review the needs of any children and will rule in favor of what is in their best interests. Write down what makes your home a stable and loving environment so that you are prepared to discuss your parenting boundaries with the mediator.
Keep An Open Mind
Anticipate that your ex will say things during the mediation process that might be hurtful, untrue, or counterproductive. However, a skilled mediator will be able to handle unreasonable requests and facilitate a productive discussion for alternative resolutions. If communications between you and your ex get heated, do your best to stay calm, take a deep breath, and avoid interrupting or attacking your spouse. Instead, listen carefully and try to empathize with your ex, even if you don’t agree. This can make your ex more cooperative and will keep settlement discussions on track.
Consult with Our Divorce Mediation & Arbitration Lawyers
At Jetton & Meredith, PLLC, we are dedicated to helping clients achieve their goals in a timely and cost-effective manner. Our compassionate and skilled legal professionals are committed to protecting and advocating for our rights at all times. We have extensive experience using the techniques of negotiation, mediation, and arbitration for our clients, so please don't hesitate to speak to our legal team today.
Call (704) 931-5535 or contact us online to request a case consultation with a lawyer at our firm.