The decision to get a divorce is only the first step in the process. In many cases, it’s much less stressful and costly to work with a mediator to settle issues such how you and your spouse will divide up your property and share responsibilities regarding your children. Planning ahead for mediation helps you work through the process faster while being prepared for your appointments with the information you need to make critical decisions. The experts from Divorce Options San Diego—experienced professionals who provide premier San Diego divorce mediation services to couples seeking creative divorce solutions—offer this checklist for preparing to work with a divorce mediator.
Schedule Your First Mediation Appointment
The first thing you need to do is select a mediator, and it’s best to work with your spouse on this important step. The mediator will connect with both of you to arrange for your first sessions. Appointments are conducted individually—you and your spouse won’t speak with the mediator at the same time. This is so each of you can feel comfortable expressing your thoughts and feelings in a confidential atmosphere. If possible, try to plan your sessions for times when you aren’t overly stressed. For example, setting up your meetings for a time when you can talk before work may be better than talking to your mediator after a long day at the office.
Inquire About the Process
The process of mediation can take a few sessions, or it can go on for several months, and this depends on factors such as how well you and your partner communicate along with how complicated your divorce arrangements get. While the length of time required for mediation varies, you can expect things to follow a fairly normal path. Talk to the mediator about what you should plan for over the course of working out your agreement. For example, knowing the first things you’ll likely focus on are priorities such as parenting schedules helps you begin planning.
Find Out What Documents You’ll Need
As with most official matters, you can expect to do some paperwork before your divorce is through. Your mediator will give you and your spouse a list of items you’ll need to gather. Typically, you’ll need proof of your identity along with information about any children you have together. You’ll also need proof of how much you pay for things such as your children’s education and healthcare. Create a file or folder you can use to keep up with important documents so you remember to have them for your mediator.
Think About Your Own Needs
Divorce has a way of throwing life into a tailspin, and it’s common to be unsure of what you even want anymore. Once you have your sessions scheduled, spend some time thinking over what you need to restart your life after the divorce. For instance, you may consider child custody to be your biggest priority, or you may know you prefer to keep your house.
Start with the Right Mindset
Divorce mediation truly is what you and your spouse make of it. Choosing to participate in your sessions with a positive attitude helps you work through the difficult decisions you need to make. Whether you spend a few minutes doing deep breathing before your appointment or you arrange for a night out with your friends afterward, practicing some self-care helps you prepare to work things out with your spouse.
If you want an alternative to hiring lawyers and going through a drawn-out, acrimonious process, turn to Divorce Options San Diego. As San Diego divorce mediators, we offer a one-stop shop approach for couples who are looking for a way to dissolve their marriages amicably and with mutual respect. We can handle every aspect of your divorce for you, so there won’t be a need to hire expensive attorneys. To learn more about our revolutionary approach to divorce, give us a call today at 858-281-2628.