Whether you have been married for months or years, divorcing your spouse is an emotionally demanding process that may affect your mental and physical well being. Mediation is one of the best ways to minimize stress in a divorce proceeding.
The primary purpose of meditation is to reach a mutually reasonable agreement. Furthermore, divorce mediation is relatively less expensive and less time-consuming compared to contested litigation. That’s why most couples and families going through a divorce in Missouri should consider this option as far as possible.
However, you should be well-prepared for a successful mediation.
As an experienced St. Louis divorce mediation attorney, I bring you five essential tips regarding this.
1. Come to the Table in Good Faith
As mentioned before, the purpose of mediation is to reach an agreement that is fair to both parties. No one is asking you to be friends with your soon-to-be-ex again. However, you have to be civil to each other as the process needs active communication and negotiations from both parties.
In other words, both of you should agree to mediation. Furthermore, you should show your willingness to separate from your partner amicably through your actions. Throughout the process, be reasonable and logical. Don’t let your emotions get in the way of your communication.
Don’t raise your voice or dig up the past when talking to each other. Keep your conversation focused on what you are going to do next, such as legal paperwork, child custody, visitation rights, and splitting legal expenses, among other things.
2. Know What You Want and What You Can Give Up
You should be thoroughly prepared for your mediation. The mediator can help you reach a decision only if you know what you want and what you can give up.
Before the mediation, you should prepare a list of all your physical assets, including your real estate, bank accounts, loans, debts, personal belongings, insurance and investments, and vehicles, among others.
Money is often an important reason for disputes between most couples. Also, most courts will require you to disclose all your financial information in an affidavit.
So, you should collect all the information about your income sources, both joint and individual (yours and your spouse’s). Don’t hide any financial information or lie about your income when coming together for mediation as this can go against you later.
3. Talk to an Experienced St. Louis Divorce Mediation Attorney
You need to know your legal rights as well as responsibilities before heading into mediation. Make sure to talk to an experienced St. Louis divorce mediation attorney to discuss your case in detail. Your divorce lawyer will explain to you how the state will divide your real estate, financial assets, and other estates.
If you have children, make sure to talk about child custody, visitation rights, and child support to your attorney. When talking to your lawyer, don’t hold back any information, whether personal or financial. Ask your lawyer to lay down all your legal options before heading into mediation.
4. Find the Right Mediator
The mediator plays a critical role in helping you reach a reasonable decision. However, not all mediators are the same. You should work with a trained and experienced St. Louis divorce mediator. Remember, you are going to share intimate and confidential details with a mediator. So, it has to be someone you can trust and is unbiased.
While some mediators are experts in handling complex financial issues, others can deal with mediations involving extreme emotional conflicts. If your case involves a special issue, make sure to find a mediator with the required qualifications and experience.
Unfortunately, the profession of mediation is still unregulated in many states. So, you will need to choose a mediator carefully. Make sure the mediator comes with recommendations from someone you know, has the necessary certifications, and comes with considerable experience in the field.
5. Take Care of Your Children
Divorce can be a traumatic experience for your children regardless of their age. As parents, you have to make sure they suffer minimum emotional stress during your legal separation.
One way to put your children first when getting a divorce is to talk to them about it together. Both you and your partner should decide on a convenient place and time to talk to your kids. Most children are smart enough to know something is wrong, and they will probably have plenty of questions. However, you have to answer their questions without talking about adult stuff.
Provide proactive emotional support to your children. Your divorce has probably already turned their lives upside down. Your children, especially the younger ones, are going to need your emotional support during this delicate time. You can hire a family and children’s counselor, if required, to help everyone work through this process together.
You can feel the emotional aftermath of a contested divorce for weeks, months, and even years. Mediation can help minimize the emotional and financial impact caused by litigation. Hopefully, the above five tips will help you prepare for divorce mediation from the start. As an experienced St. Louis divorce mediation attorney, I have helped many couples get an amicable divorce. If you have any doubts or queries about the divorce mediation process, feel free to contact us.
Schedule an Appointment with St. Louis Divorce Mediation Attorney Today!
Attorney Jennifer Rench is an experienced St. Louis divorce mediation attorney who can help you guide through your mediation process. Call (314) 725-4000 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.