Divorce Mediation Checklist
Divorce mediation is a process that assists couples in negotiating the terms of their divorce without going through a traditional court process.
Mediation is an effective alternative to a contested trial or negotiation between lawyers.
It allows the couple to create mutually cooperative agreements and avoid divorce in the most affordable manner possible. The mediator’s role is to facilitate negotiations.
Here is what you need to know about divorce mediation before proceeding with divorce litigation.
How Does Divorce Mediation Work?
Divorce mediation is a process designed to help couples reach an agreement on the terms of their divorce. It involves both spouses and a mediator who facilitates the discussion between the two parties. The mediator does not take sides or make decisions for either spouse.
Divorce mediation aims to help couples reach an agreement with as little conflict as possible. This process can be less expensive than a traditional court-ordered divorce, and it allows parties to maintain control over their own decisions and future.
Your mediator will facilitate the discussion and help you navigate the entire process. The divorce mediator will ask you to list your expectations and desired outcomes. They will also help you understand the legal technicalities of the divorce process in your area.
Your divorce mediation session will cover all of the main components that you would ordinarily settle in a court. During these sessions, you will be able to settle items like your children’s legal custody arrangement, division of marital property, spousal support, and child support.
You and your spouse will then sort out a list of possible desires and outcomes and find ways to accomplish them during these mediation sessions.
What to Expect in a Divorce Mediation
Divorce mediation is not only for couples who have children but also for those who don’t and are simply looking for a way out of their marriage. In this situation, the couple doesn’t need to agree on anything except they want to end their marriage.
Before your first divorce mediation session, your mediator will ask you some details like:
Information about your spouse
Marriage certificate specifics
Why do you want a divorce
Life insurance policies
Your expectations about the divorce settlement.
From mediation sessions, you can expect realistic solutions for:
Child custody and visitation terms
Marital settlement agreement
Marital assets and property division
How Long Does Divorce Mediation Take?
The length of the mediation process depends on many factors. These include the complexity of the issues involved and how willing each spouse is to negotiate.
But on average, it takes three to four hours per mediation session and will take nearly a month or two to decide on a settlement agreement. In some cases, where the spouses aren’t cooperative enough, or the case comes with several complexities to solve, the issue might take six to eight months or longer.
The best course of action is to consult with experienced divorce mediators who know the process details and can help you out with the solution. Only a professional mediator can help you bring the best outcome from this collaborative and positive method of resolving issues and conflicts between spouses.
What to Bring to Divorce Mediation
Here is a sample checklist of information documents you should prepare before your divorce proceedings.
- Your bank account statements.
- Executive compensation statements.
- Investment statements and stock options
- Life insurance policies, including health insurance
- List of assets and properties with significant value.
- Loan, debt, and tax returns information
- Mortgage details.
- Retirement account and pension statements
- W-2 statements or 1099s.
Tips to Prepare for Divorce Mediation
Consult with an Experienced Mediator
The outcome of your case depends on the mediator you are working with. In the mediation process, it is essential to work with an experienced professional who can help you
- Understand the legal process
- Resolve conflicts
- Help reduce stress between parties
- Ease the negotiation process
Quality Participation is Essential!
Mediation is a voluntary process where you and your spouse cooperate to get the best outcomes. If one or both of you won’t show up during the session, it won’t yield your desired outcome.
The best course of action is to attend each session with an open mind. Neither person will get everything they want, but you can still obtain a great result.
Ask the Right Questions
The correct answer comes from the right questions. Spend time preparing before your session by outlining as many questions as you can think of, then filter down to the most important. If you keep asking the right questions about your goals, your life, financial independence, and child custody and support, you will have a more realistic approach to your desired outcomes.
Divorce mediation is a great way to end your marriage with a mutual understanding of mutual benefits on specified terms. But it doesn’t mean that you’ll get everything the way you want. There must be cases where you will be required to sacrifice a little, and the same goes for the other party.
Stay Calm and Focus on the Outcome
Going through a divorce is a challenging process. There will be so much financial, emotional and physical distress, it can be tough to keep your cool. However, you need to maintain your composure during the process to get a solid outcome. Depending on your relationship with your spouse, you might feel agitated or worked up at any point, but making a fuss about them will worsen the situation.
An experienced mediator will be skilled enough to handle the situation and maintain peace while you and your spouse are there for the session. The mediator will help you both in staying calm during the process.
Advantages of Divorce Mediation
Divorce mediation is a great way to end a marriage without the need for litigation. It also has many benefits, such as:
It saves time and money
It gives both spouses control over the outcome of their divorce
It allows them to make decisions together
It reduces the chance of conflict and hostility between the two parties
It decreases the likelihood of a recurrence of the marriage
It helps to build intimacy and trust between both parties
There are many benefits to divorce mediation. For example, it’s less likely that there will be conflict and hostility in future relationships because the two parties can resolve their issues amicably. Mediation also gives spouses control over how they want their divorce to go and the chance to make decisions together.
The benefits of mediation are not just limited to couples divorcing. They also include parents with custody disputes, cohabitating couples who wish to separate, and spouses entering into a prenuptial agreement.
Divorce Mediation Checklist F.A.Q.s
What is divorce mediation?
Mediation is a process in which two people with a dispute, such as a divorce, work with a third party to find a resolution. This person, called a mediator, facilitates the discussion between the two parties and helps them find acceptable compromises to both sides.
Is divorce mediation a good idea?
This depends on your situation. Mediation has many advantages such as lower cost, less tension, and speed. However, it’s not for everyone. Hopefully, this article has given you a better idea of the benefits.
Do I need a lawyer for divorce mediation?
You’ll want to check the laws in your state, but you do not typically need an attorney for the mediation process. However, there are a number of important advantages to utilizing an attorney who is also a licensed mediator.