The decision to divorce is often a long and painful one, but once it’s made, clients need a plan for moving on with life in the most hassle-free way possible. Mediation can help ex-spouses reach a workable agreement without spending significantly on attorney fees and court costs, but there are many decisions to make during the process. Below are several tips to help simplify the process.
Agree to Undergo Mediation
In most jurisdictions, divorce mediation is on a voluntary basis. However, the only way to get all issues on the table is for both sides to agree to negotiate in good faith. That doesn’t necessarily mean that ex-spouses have to be best friends, but it does require meaningful, mature conversation. Strong-arm tactics may get a resistant spouse to agree to mediation, but the process won’t work unless both parties make an effort.
Do Some Research
Once a couple agrees to mediate, they must get organized. After all, mediators cannot help parties decide what to do with their assets if the couple doesn’t know what they have. Making a detailed list of assets and income sources can make it easier to submit a financial affidavit when the case finally makes it to court. Additionally, the list can serve as a map and a schedule during mediation.
Set Clear Goals
Once all assets are accounted for, the next step is for the couple to determine how those assets will be distributed. The asset division process can be difficult and emotional, and parties must spend a substantial amount of time setting priorities. Just as in other types of negotiation, clients must come to acceptable terms.
Put the Kids First
While children are very resilient, divorce can be very tough on them. However, parents can help them cope by minimizing the negative effects of the process. Regardless of the children’s ages, parents should communicate openly and keep a united front. Children are smart and perceptive, and they deserve the reassurance that they will continue to receive support and love from both parents. Divorcing parents can go here for help in evaluating their options or setting up an appointment with a mediator.