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Help preparing for divorce mediation

The divorce process can be nerve racking at times but the mediation process is an alternative to divorce-related litigation that is designed to help couples resolve concerns in a more peaceful and productive manner. Tips for how to approach the mediation process, and especially the first session, can be helpful. Being prepared for the process can help ease fears and achieve a more successful outcome and amicable divorce.

To begin with, it is important to provide thorough and organized financial records including income, debts and other financial records such as retirement accounts, as well as others. In addition, bringing an accurate budget will aid the process. It is important for each spouse to consider what they want and need to achieve from the divorce mediation process and to negotiate from that position. Next, it is useful to keep in mind that mediation is a negotiation process and allowing understandable emotions to dominate the process is not helpful. Because the mediation process is a process based on negotiation, arguing is not productive.

Guidance that is focused on the mediation process, and what it can achieve, is important. It may also be useful to have one-on-one time with the mediator during the process which is fine. Ideally, the couple needs to have a working understanding and knowledge of the process. Whatever the concerns are for each of the spouses, which may include property division issues, spousal support concerns, child custody concerns or child support concerns, it is important to place them in writing and approach resolving issues, concerns and disputes in a productive fashion.

Divorce can be an unpleasant process but does not necessarily have to be. The family law process provides alternatives to help couples achieve a more amicable divorce.

Source: Huffington Post, "How to Prepare for Your First Mediation Session - Your Eight Steps Plan," Dr. Michelle Rozen, October 7, 2013

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John T. Chamberlin, Attorney at Law
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