Choosing mediation is an important step. For certain couples, it can be a better process than traditional litigation. But that does not mean it is always easy. In fact, you probably feel anxious about how mediation will turn out. It can be hard work, but it is often beneficial.
Feeling nervous before your first divorce mediation session is normal, but you can take some steps to make it go more smoothly. Here are three tips for preparing for mediation:
1. Be as civil as possible
Try to stay on good terms with your spouse leading up to the first session. While this can be difficult, it goes a long way. According to a Huffington Post piece on divorce mediation, it is important to get your heated emotions under control. Take the high road with a little civility and everything is sure to go better than you expect.
2. Organize your finances
Financial documents are necessary to begin the property division process. Bring a list of the following assets:
- Bank accounts
- Retirement funds
- Real estate
You should also bring information proving your balances and monthly payments on any credit cards, mortgages or car loans.
3. Be ready to negotiate
Remember that you cannot change the past and that mediation is not about arguing. It is designed to be a helpful process for figuring out real solutions. As you think about what you want from mediation, try to remember that you will need to negotiate and compromise. Remain respectful of the wishes of your spouse. If you keep a realistic and respectful mindset leading up to your first session, it is sure to go much better.
You are probably dealing with a lot of painful emotions. Heading for divorce is overwhelming, even if you know it has been coming for awhile. But mediation can be a helpful way to get through divorce without an ugly court battle.