Preparing for Divorce Mediation

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Preparing for Divorce Mediation in terms of Documents

  • Any previous orders pertaining to custody, visitation and who resides in the marital home
  • Copies of any rental agreements amongst you and someone you rent to or you and the landlord
  • Copies of mortgages to all properties
  • Deeds to all properties
  • Titles to all vehicles
  • All financial records

Each party should carry three copies of the documents to the mediation session - one is for the mediator and one each for the divorcing parties. Sometimes it may happen that the parties start negotiations regarding the parenting plan or settlement prior to the mediation. If this is the case, then they should include the working draft to be used as a starting point in the first mediation session.

Psychological and Emotional preparing for divorce mediation

The divorcing couple should understand how mediation works. This will result in a confident and calm feeling. It is very crucial that this couple embarks for mediation with an open mind and an objective to resolve the disputed topics with minimum conflict.

The couple should write down on paper a list of issues that should be dealt with in mediation along with the outcome that they desire. After placing such a paper in front of self, it is possible to prioritize the intentions and identify the issues where one is ready to compromise.

The mediation sessions should be planned considerably before the Court dates or other deadlines. The reason for doing so is that it becomes possible to arrange many short sessions rather than attempting to discuss all the disputed topics in a single day. If the mediation session is extended for a long time, the probability that the divorcing couple would become frustrated increases. Also, the mediation session ambience becomes adversarial and coercive.

The divorcing parties must keep in mind that the mediator would not make any decisions but would come up with alternatives and compromises. If they do not wish to accept these, they are free to do so. The most important mental preparation is to realize the fact that if they do not reach a settlement agreement at the end of the mediation, they are bound by the decisions of the judge after the litigation.

Selection of a mediator

Mediators are of two types. One type holds sessions in which the divorcing parties and the mediator sit in one room and discuss the topics. All the participants share the same information and collaborate towards an agreement.

The second type explains the ground rules and identifies the topics to be discussed with both the divorcing parties in one room. Further, the mediator separates the two parties in two rooms. The mediator shuttles between the two rooms and makes offers and counter-offers till an agreement is reached.

Both the above mentioned methods have pros and cons. It is vital that the divorcing parties know the style of the mediator in advance and it does not come as a surprise during the first mediation session.

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