Divorce can be a long and rocky process. Once you have decided to go down that road, you will have to make many other choices before legally becoming single once again. A divorce often involves neverending paperwork, long cases, expensive lawyers, court dates, and many other stressful events before it leads to the end of your marriage. If you are looking to speed past the process of divorce, there is another option: mediation. This will allow you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse to fight it out privately with a mediator. A mediator is an unbiased middleman who will help in making decisions when it comes to assets, custody, and financial matters. Not only will it shorten the process, but it will save you money and precious time.
Should you choose to end your marriage with mediation, here is what you’ll need to do:
The mediation process is completely voluntary. Agreeing to everything in good faith and putting everything down on the table can be a great way to get past any issues you and your spouse might be having trouble agreeing on. You don’t need to be the best of friends while you are undergoing mediation, but you do need to be civil in order to finalize decisions that will affect both of you. Agree to come together and go over the upsides and downsides of mediation before you decide to go through with it instead of a traditional divorce. You will want to discuss payment, participation, schedules, and more with your mediator.
Once you have decided to mediate, this is the time to improve your understanding, educate yourself, and start planning. Make sure that you are covering all your bases and listing everything that you and your spouse will include in the case. This means all real property, personal property, vehicles, bank accounts, credit cards, retirement accounts, insurance policies, stocks, and any other financial products.
If you have any proof or records of these assets like paystubs, profits, loss statements, pension disbursements, social security, and child support, you should bring these to mediation as well. Make sure that you list out all recurring expenses and anything else that is important and will affect your divorce. Most state courts will require submission of a financial affidavit anyways, so make sure that you fill it out as accurately as possible so that it cannot be used against you later on during the process. It is important that you gather these records so that you can prove your claims and so that you and your spouse can provide accurate numbers.
The next step is to make goals for your negotiations and make sure you plan your meditation sessions. Keep in mind what the end goal is after everything is settled. As you delve into each category, come up with a goal. List out your negotiations and figure out your range of acceptable terms. Think of what you truly want and what you will absolutely not be okay with. Include all your demands for custody, financial requirements, and anything else that you will put you in the optimal position after your married life is over. Make sure that you use your records to set these goals, then use your records to make them happen.
If you’re looking for a divorce attorney in Genesee County, we are here to help. Get in touch today for a free consultation.