Five Ways to Make Mediated Divorces a Success!
1. Be prepared for your Mediated Divorce. You will need proof of your respective incomes, if any. Bring copies of your Tax Returns for the past two years, a recent W2 and pay stub if you are a salaried employee. You will also need three months of bank statements, credit card statements, mortgage or rent statements and retirement statements. It also helps to know the balance owed on loans other than on your credit cards or mortgage such as student loans and car loans. Bring those statements! Have a general idea what your house or condo could sell for, if possible.
2. Write down what your individual goals are in mediation. Ask yourself what is most important to you and list those goals in order of importance keeping in mind that you don’t have to show all your cards at the onset. You don’t have to reveal those goals that you can drop at the beginning of the process. Just knowing in advance what you might be willing to compromise on will make mediation go more smoothly.
3. Before you start to mediate, try to put yourself in the shoes of your husband or wife. Try to understand what he or she might want out of this process and why even if you vehemently disagree.
4. Mediated Divorces won’t succeed if you forget to listen. Listen to the mediator who will describe how he or she conducts the mediation process and what he or she expects from you. Listen to your soon to be ex as to his or her goals. Try not to talk over the other people in the room no matter how tempting that may be.
5. Most likely you will tackle the smaller issues first. Once you have accomplished resolving those issues and feel good about it, you can move on to the thornier ones. Approach those bigger issues with an open mind. You may be very surprised at what creative compromises you can collectively come up with.
Good luck and Happy Mediating!