Regardless of how long you and your spouse were together, you’re not necessarily done with them after the divorce settlement. For example, if you have kids, you may need to revisit important factors like child support, or other financial issues. However, post-divorce mediation can affect you even if you don’t have kids and you need to settle an argument around something like property or assets. Before you can begin the process of mediation after a divorce, check out these ways to prepare for post-divorce mediation.
Hire Your Own Attorney
Sometimes you can save on attorney fees by going with an in-house attorney; however, there are several disadvantages to an in-house attorney as opposed to hiring your own personal attorney. Consider this—your personal attorney is personally working for your best interest, while an in-house attorney doesn’t have any incentive to work for your best interest. Not to mention, you’re usually limited with how much you can meet with an in-house attorney since they usually have larger amounts of clients.
Propose Mediation to Your Spouse
Mediation is one of the best methods for navigating a divorce, because it’s smoother and more affordable than the traditional court process. There is a catch, however; both you and your spouse have to be open and willing to use the mediation process. Ideally, your spouse will accept your suggestion for mediation, but if they don’t, you may be heading to the courthouse.
Have Goals in Place and Name Your Concerns Early
One of the most important things you can do to prepare for mediation is to set goals. If you don’t have any specific requests, and you don’t know what you want, how could you possibly negotiate effectively? In addition, you need to make your concerns know early in the process because you can’t backtrack once the mediation process starts. For instance, if your children are starting college soon, you may want to make the case that you’re going to need more financial help to put them through university. If you didn’t name that concern early, though, your spouse’s attorney may deny the request.
Get Your Documents Together
You’ll need a paper trail of all your documents, especially considering many couples use mediation to solve financial disputes. For instance, how’d you feel if your spouse demanded more money from you, but didn’t bring pay stubs and bank statements, or they weren’t willing to share their financial information? You’d probably ask them to prove that they need the financial support, and the same goes for you. Gather all your bank statements, pay stubs, investments, and any other assets to show. Whether you think the documents will help your case or not, you’ll need to show all your documents to solve post-divorce disputes.
Whether you were married for less than a year or 25 years, you need to prepare for post-divorce mediation. The process of mediation is usually less painful and much faster than traditional court hearings, so get your ex-spouse on board and get to negotiating.