While it is true that divorce mediation can save time, money and heartache, mediation won’t skip over the details to get to a resolution. Mediation is a comprehensive process that examines all of the relevant facts of a couple’s situation thoroughly.
One of the best things that divorcing parties can do ensure that mediation moves forward smoothly is to devote some time to preparation. While it is ideal if both parties have taken steps to prepare, it still helps the process along if at least one of the parties comes well-prepared.
1. Begin gathering documents.
All divorce processes require a hefty amount of paperwork, and nothing creates a speed bump like missing information. Ask your mediator for a complete list of the documents required, identify those not in your possession and request them immediately. Obtaining records can be a lengthy process, and divorcing parties who don’t emphasize their collection can find themselves growing frustrated with the haphazard process that can result.
2. Find and use a co-parenting communication tool.
A number of online communication tools exist for planning and communicating about the practical details of family life, and some of them are uniquely designed for separated or divorced parents. Co-parenting tools like Our Family Wizard can reduce conflict and misunderstanding while helping keep communication drama-free. With effective, practical co-parenting tools in place, mediation can move forward smoothly.
3. Create a divorce mission statement.
Write down your goals for yourself and your family through the divorce. If you are having trouble doing this on your own, we suggest getting some context: talk to a therapist, watch a documentary about divorce or read a book. Outside references can help you articulate what you do and do not want. We have found that divorce mission statements help participants stay focused, making the process easier and the outcome more successful.
Gerald A. Maggio is a trained divorce mediator who has amicably resolved cases many cases out of court, as well as an experienced divorce and family law attorney. Mr. Maggio founded California Divorce Mediators in 2012 with the belief that although “not every marriage can be saved, every family can” and a mission to save families from the financial and emotional distress associated with traditional divorce litigation. California Divorce Mediators is located in Irvine, California, and serves the Orange County area and other counties in California offering divorce mediation, child custody mediation and mediation of other family law matters.