5 Tips For Successful Divorce Mediation
If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage in divorce, one way you can reach your divorce settlement agreement is through mediation. With the help of mediation, you may come to an amicable dissolution in your marriage and avoid going to court. A successful mediation can save you time and money in legal fees.
If you are considering mediation, here are some things you should do:
Agree to mediation with your spouse
In most situations, mediation is optional in a divorce and the only it can happen is if both parties agree to the process. Although you and your spouse do not need to be on good terms to go through mediation, you must be able to have an open and honest conversation. You should discuss the pros and cons with your spouse and compare it to other methods to see if it is an option that both of you are open to. You may want to discuss the logistics as well, such as how you will split the mediation fees, convenient dates and times and who will handle any procedures that the mediator will not deal with for you.
Prepare for mediation
Once you have both agreed to mediation, you will need to make a list of all your assets and possession, both shared and individual. This list should contain everything of value that you own including real estate, personal property, vehicles, bank accounts, investments, stocks, retirement accounts, life insurance policies and other financial products. You should also have documentation for your income as well as any spousal support or child support you’ve received. You should list all your recurring expenses and liabilities as well.
Mediation will only be successful if you know what you want to achieve at the end of the process. You must decide what terms are non-negotiable and which are flexible and keep those terms in mind as you go through mediation. If you and your spouse have children, you should outline what you expect in terms of parental access and support. Note, though, that custody matters should be separate from financial matters. You should never use the threat of withholding access to your children as a means of financial gain. Create a pre- and post-divorce budget that will show your current expenditures and what you expect to be spending after the completion of your divorce. This will help you to determine what sort of support you will need moving forward.
Find a mediator
The mediation process will be guided by a mediator. A mediator is someone who has been trained to help people resolve conflicts including those that arise in a divorce. A mediator does not impose a solution but simply facilitates negotiations in which you and your spouse can decide together what the best solution is in your case. Before you hire a divorce mediator, ask about their qualifications and experience handling matters relating to family law. Also, try to find a divorce mediator who has resolved at least 90% of their cases.
Hire a divorce mediation lawyer
Some mediators are practising lawyers. However, in the role of a mediator, a lawyer must remain neutral and cannot offer either party legal advice. Therefore, it may be wise for you to consult a divorce mediation lawyer. Your mediation lawyer will guide you through the process, offer advice and help you get a fair divorce settlement. With a mediation lawyer on your side, you can rest assured that your rights will be protected every step of the way.
Are you searching for a Toronto divorce lawyer?
If you are searching for a Toronto divorce lawyer to guide you through mediation, contact us at Baker and Baker Family Law. At Baker and Baker Family Law, we are committed to helping our clients use mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution to tackle the issues in their divorce. So, give us a call today. Let us show you how we can help.