If you are considering a divorce in Southeast Wyoming, you and your soon-to-be ex might choose to steer clear of litigation and save time and money by opting for a mediated divorce. This will allow you to be in charge of the important decisions that will affect your post-divorce lives and your relationships with you children. While mediation can avoid the trauma of court battles, you may feel anxious about it due to your unfamiliarity with the process.
Research about this process may prepare you and relieve the stress of anticipation. The goal of mediation is for a qualified divorce mediator to provide a platform for you and your spouse to negotiate any contentious issues or concerns you might have. The mediator will facilitate open communication and encourage compromise when necessary — but he or she may not provide legal advice.
Preparation for the first mediation session
The most important issues in the majority of divorces are those related to children and to financial matters. There are preparations you can take in order to save time and ensure that you have the necessary information during divorce negotiations, including the following:
- Learn your rights — Before choosing a mediator, it may be wise to consult with an experienced family law attorney who might even be a skilled divorce mediator. Such a professional can explain your rights and prepare you for what to expect. Furthermore, he or she may be present during mediation to provide valuable input while making sure your opinions and concerns are heard and considered.
- Prepare financial documents – You will need to compile a list of every single asset you have — including all bank accounts, savings accounts, retirement accounts, household contents and more. Also, an equally detailed list is necessary of all your debts — including mortgage, home equity loans and any student loans.
- Draft a budget — If you go into mediation with a detailed budget of what you will need after the divorce and what you can afford to pay, it might make negotiating easier. Be realistic when drafting the budget and include everything you will need for yourself and your children, along with household, car, health and other miscellaneous expenses.
- Remember the aim is to negotiate, not argue — If you have any vengeful emotions — which can be typical during this trying time — it may help to find a way to get rid of them. Talking to family members, a therapist or any other form of release may allow you to negotiate in a more productive manner.
- Emotional control –This might be the most difficult part of mediation — but it is essential not to let emotions cloud your mind. Your best bet may be to focus on the future and push away all thoughts of the past.
- List your concerns — To make sure your concerns are not left unaddressed; you can put them in writing and check them off as they are resolved. The goal of divorce mediation is to resolve all matters and then draft a settlement agreement.
Because you will have your attorney’s guidance and support throughout the process of divorce mediation, you may be surprised how smooth the divorce process could be. Some couples in Southeast Wyoming may find that this process teaches them the skills of negotiation that might prove valuable in the years to come – especially when matters related to any children cause contention.