1. COMMIT TO MEDIATE
The first and most important step in divorce mediation is simply choosing and committing to mediate the issues in your divorce. Mediation is a great way for couples to save money and divorce amicably. Successful mediation, however, takes a willingness to compromise. Thinking that you can use mediation to gain an advantage over your spouse is a mistake. Before embarking on the divorce litigation path, take time to discuss mediation with your spouse. It can be a difficult topic to broach, but it will pay dividends in the end.
2. CHOOSE A MEDIATOR
Once you and your spouse have agreed that divorce mediation is the best option, find a neutral mediator to mediate your case. The two most important things to look for in a mediator is that they are local and experienced. A local mediator is important because family law is an inherently local practice, based on jurisdiction-specific rules and customs. Experience is also key. Your mediator should have experience as a divorce attorney, because he or she will know the law and how to properly draft an enforceable marital settlement agreement.
3. LIST AND VALUE YOUR ASSETS
Once you’ve scheduled your first mediation session, make a list of your assets and liabilities, and gather all supporting documents. Issues of property division, custody, and support may be discussed in your sessions. You can use our checklist to ensure you have everything you may need.
4. ENVISION YOUR FUTURE
You’ll get the most out of your mediation and your divorce if you think of it as an opportunity to plan your future, rather than rehash personal issues in your marriage. Done correctly, mediation can provide you and your spouse with a path to a simple, amicable divorce and help you move towards the life you envision for yourself and your family.