The decisions you make during divorce mediation will affect your life for many years. While you may just want to hurry up and get your divorce over with, it will pay off in the long run if you carefully consider all your options. Knowing what to ask for in your divorce mediation helps you focus on your needs with greater clarity. The team from Divorce Options San Diego—the experts in San Diego divorce mediation who offer a comprehensive, resolution-based alternative to expensive, time-consuming divorce litigation—explains what you should ask for in divorce mediation.
1. Work with Your Spouse to Create a Master List of Assets and Debts
One of the main things that’s decided in divorce mediation is how your shared property is to be divided. However, you may not be fully aware of all the information that surrounds what’s owned in your marriage. For instance, your spouse may have a retirement account you’re entitled to a portion of, or you may not know the value of your shared art collection. When you request a list of assets, make sure to also have one of your own. These lists can then be used to determine exactly what property must be divided.
2. Work with Your Spouse to Create a Detailed Schedule for Each Child
Depending on the various roles you play as parents, you may not know all the details about your children’s daily schedule. For instance, it’s common for one parent to handle things such as taking the children to sports practices while the other parent works. However, this information can affect child custody, since there may be times when it’s in the best interests of the children to carry out normal activities. Having your children’s schedule in hand can help you decide which visitation times are best.
3. Work with Your Mediation Team to Understand the Basic Applicable Laws
Your divorce mediation team helps you and your spouse work out your differences to find a solution that makes everyone happier. While this process gives you vast amounts of leeway to create a personalized divorce plan, you’ll still need to comply with the current California laws to ensure your divorce receives the court’s approval. For instance, a certain amount of child or spousal support must be paid in most cases. Understanding this requirement can help you identify a starting point for your negotiations.
4. Work with Your Mediator Honestly About Your Life Goals
Ideally, you should have some ideas in mind for what you hope to get out of the mediation process. Tell your mediator what your one-year and five-year plans are. For example, you may want primary custody of your children or to keep the house. Make sure to speak up for yourself and request the things you want during the discussions. In the end, you’re your best advocate, since you’ll need to live with these decisions.
5. Work with Your Mediator to Develop a Critical Thinking Tool Kit
During your divorce mediation, you may be presented with requests from your spouse that you’re not sure how to respond to at first. You can always ask for more time to think about a situation to see how you feel about it after your initial reaction. Taking time to think things over can keep stress levels down while also giving everyone a chance to come back with fresh perspectives on the situation.
Mediation offers a divorce solution that’s focused on meeting the needs of everyone in the family. Couples looking for an alternative to the expense and acrimony of traditional attorney-centered divorce should reach out to the experienced professionals at Divorce Options San Diego. We’re San Diego divorce mediators you can trust to help you dissolve your marriage in a way that’s based on respect and mutual satisfaction. Give us a call today at (858) 281-2628 to learn more.