How effective the divorce mediation is for you to get what you want – whether it relates to finances, property, or even the custody of your children – hinges on how well prepared you are. Having a run through of sensitive topics before you actually get into a joint session will be crucial to how you conduct yourself during a face to face meeting with your estranged partner.
Your divorce attorney or a friend can help you go over this through some role play so you know how you will handle some of the tougher questions that come your way. It will also help you prepare valid logical points to support your stance, something you may find hard to do on the fly in the heat of the moment.
Make a list
Make a master list of all items you own both individually and jointly. Besides bigger items like property and vehicles and bank accounts, insurance policies and investments, you will also need to carefully list out high value household electronics, art and jewelry.
Set priorities, and prepare for a little give-and-take
Know what your must-haves are, which you will not compromise on no matter what. Have a secondary list of items which you may be willing to let go off, or trade for some accommodations made by your spouse. Also know the easy wins that you can give your spouse to secure some bigger wins for yourself.
Have all your documents ready
It is likely you will need to discuss finances and income details. Put together a dossier of all relevant information on anything that is likely to come up in the mediation. You will find yourself on stronger footing if you are armed with all the information to back you up.
Get the right help
Hiring a good divorce attorney can make all the difference, especially when it comes to divorce mediation. An experienced divorce lawyer will be able to guide you through the process, explaining where you may need to compromise and helping you push back when you need to, so that you arrive at a settlement that is largely what you wanted.
Equally important is the divorce mediator you hire. Find someone with a good track record on helping couples reach amicable and lasting solutions. Understand their background, experience handling similar cases and don’t just rely on looking at their qualifications on paper.
With the right team and adequate homework, you stand a good chance of achieving the goals you set for yourself before the mediation began.
Gerald A. Maggio is a trained Orange County 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.