When a couple decides to divorce, there is often a long and arduous process leading to that point. A couple will want to move on with their lives in the smoothest way possible, and mediation can help. The following are some tips for a person who is preparing for divorce mediation.
1. Agree to mediate
In Utah, all couples are required to mediate at least once during the divorce process. Mediation can make the most sense for many couples, and some may benefit from attending two or three mediations if they are having success resolving their issues out of court. A couple should go over the pros and cons of mediation, the logistics, and make sure there is a commitment from both spouses.
2. Get organized
A person entering mediation should come with all necessary documentation and information. They should gather a master list of all of their assets and possessions, no matter who they belonged to in the marriage. The list should include all real property, personal property, vehicles, credit cards, bank accounts, life insurance policies, retirement accounts, annuities, stocks, and all other financial products. Income sources including paystubs, profit and loss statements, pension distributions, social security, alimony, and child support should all be included. Recurring expenses should also be listed, including mortgage payments, car loans, health insurance, utilities, food, student loans, etc. Bank statements can be helpful in verifying these recurring expenses.
Understandably, this can be an overwhelming amount of documentation and information to keep track of, so having an experienced family law attorney by one’s side can be extremely valuable during the mediation process. An attorney can help keep track of all of the important assets and financial details, make sure all of these bases are covered during mediation, and advocate for their client’s interests.
3. Set goals
Once everything has been recorded and gathered, a person should think about what they want to do with all of it. It is important that a person figure out their range of acceptable terms and bottom-line goals.
4. Keep kids in mind
Divorce can be especially hard on children, so it is important that parents communicate with their children. Parents should continue to provide their children with a stable and loving environment, and they should not disparage the other parent or discuss adult business in front of them.
5. Research mediators
There are many, many mediators in Utah, and it can be difficult to decide which one to go with. An attorney skilled in divorce will know who the best mediators in the area are and can simplify this process. Hiring an experienced family law attorney is an important step in making sure a person’s future is protected and the divorce process goes smoothly.