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How To Prepare For Divorce Mediation: A Comprehensive Guide

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for 2020-2021 the marriage rate in the United States was 6.0 per 1,000, while the divorce rate was 2.5 per 1,000. A total of 689,308 United States couples got divorced in the same period. While divorce can often be an emotionally fraught and even embittered process, in other cases partners who feel their paths and needs diverging seek to dissolve their marriage amicably. In these instances, the couple may pursue t divorce mediation. Colorado spouses interested in this option can schedule a consultation with the Colorado Divorce Law Group by calling (720) 593-6442 to discuss the mediation process with an experienced divorce attorney.

Understanding the Basics of Divorce Mediation

Divorce mediation is a voluntary process in which spouses who have decided to dissolve their marriage work together with the support of a certified mediator. The goal of mediation is typically to resolve all the issues related to a divorce, such as alimony, child support and custody, and the division of assets, without requiring the intervention and oversight of a family law judge. While either spouse, or both, may also choose to retain legal counsel, it is the mediator who acts as the go-between. With the divorce mediation approach, all parties strive to keep their lines of communication open and productive. This approach can help to set up a post-divorce relationship that is more friendly than adversarial.

Steps To Prepare for Mediation

The Colorado Judicial Branch has helpful information on how to prepare for the mediation process. The first step in preparing for divorce mediation is choosing the right mediator. Couples should select a mediator who is experienced, neutral, and skilled in family law matters. Choosing a mediator with whom both spouses can feel comfortable is also important.

Compatibility and trust are crucial for the success of the mediation process. Colorado Divorce Law Group has worked with some of the best mediators in the state and proudly offers referrals to experienced mediators in the Littleton area who can help couples find a path towards a fair and equitable divorce whose terms both sides can agree to without regret.

Gather Essential Documents

Divorce mediation involves a thorough review of financial and legal documents. To ensure a smooth process, couples should gather the following essential documents:

  • Financial records – These records include all recent tax returns, bank statements, mortgage agreements, retirement accounts, and any outstanding debt, such as credit cards and personal loans.
  • Legal documents – These documents include the marriage certificate, a prenuptial agreement if there is one, and any pre-existing court orders from previous marriages.
  • Personal information – All the pertinent contact information for both parties, including any information about shared children.

Define Your Goals and Priorities

Before entering mediation, couples should clearly understand their goals and priorities. For couples with children, a clear understanding often begins with a discussion about child custody and parenting time. Many couples find custody issues to be the most challenging aspect of divorce mediation. However, when you stay focused on the children’s best interests, even very strong differences of opinion or divergences of interest can often be worked out. The key to joint success is for both partners to remain open to compromise and willing to explore various co-parenting arrangements, with the help of their mediator.

There will also need to be a discussion about property division. How would you like to divide your assets and liabilities? How will you divide and handle any outstanding debts, such as credit card debt, loans, or mortgages? What are the ongoing financial needs for spousal and child support? Spouses will need to consider these items as you enter the official divorce mediation process.

What Should You Not Say During Mediation?

During mediation, both parties must exercise caution and discretion in their communication. Couples should avoid making inflammatory or accusatory statements that can escalate tensions. Negative language and personal attacks can hinder the productive atmosphere of mediation, making it harder to reach a resolution.

Both spouses should avoid making promises or commitments they may be unable to uphold. While such pledges are often made with the best of intentions, failure to follow through (even when excusable) can erode the party’s trust and credibility. Focusing on constructive and respectful dialogue to foster an environment conducive to successful mediation, while giving careful consideration to any offer or concession, can help all involved to stay grounded and maintain a measured approach.

How Do You Stay Calm During Divorce Mediation?

Staying calm during divorce mediation is essential for effective communication and problem-solving. The best approach for achieving that goal is to be prepared for your divorce mediation session. That goes back to the issue of understanding your goals and priorities. The process will go smoother when you have as many issues resolved before mediation.

Additionally, adopting mindfulness techniques can be immensely helpful in staying calm. Deep breathing exercises, meditation, or seeking support from a therapist can assist in managing stress and anxiety. Divorce mediation is a collaborative process, and maintaining a respectful and composed demeanor can contribute to a more constructive and amicable resolution. Reminding oneself of the ultimate goal can also prove a useful tool for focusing racing thoughts during stressful moments: A fair and mutually agreeable settlement that paves the way for a smoother transition to post-divorce life is a destination couples can take pride in reaching.

How Do You Emotionally Prepare for Mediation?

Emotionally preparing for mediation is a vital aspect of the process, as divorce can be emotionally taxing. Acknowledging one’s own feelings of anger, sadness, or even resentment is perfectly fine. Suppressing these emotions can hinder the mediation process.

Both parties need to understand from the outset that mediation is about compromise. Neither partner is likely to achieve 100% of all their desired outcomes. Be prepared to let go of some issues in favor of reaching an overall fair settlement. Practicing self-care through activities like exercise, meditation, or engaging in hobbies can also help manage stress and keep wayward emotions in check. Emotionally preparing for mediation empowers divorcing spouses to approach the process with a clear mind and the resilience needed to navigate its challenges successfully.

How Do I Get the Best Out of Mediation?

Getting the best out of mediation hinges on thorough preparation, effective communication, and a cooperative mindset. Selecting the right mediator, defining your goals, and staying emotionally centered pave the way for a successful mediation journey. The Colorado Divorce Law Group may be able to help you find a mediator and start the process. Call (720) 593-6442 to get an experienced family law attorney’s support in your divorce mediation process today and take the first step towards a swift resolution and the opportunity to move on with a positive attitude.