Five Questions To Ask Yourself Before Entering Divorce Mediation
Divorcing couples who engage in mediation often find that it offers many advantages over battling out differences in court. Quicker, less expensive and less stressful than trial, mediation gives divorcing spouses the chance to come to rational agreements with the help of neutral third party in a confidential setting.
Mediation does not require you and your spouse to come to the table ready to compromise on all disputed issues. In fact, you may be very far apart on some, and the skill and guidance of the mediator will be necessary to bridge the gap. But if you want mediation to work most effectively, you should ask yourself these questions and have the information ready when the process begins:
What do you own?
Compile a list of your individual property, your spouse’s individual property and your shared property. Everything from real estate and vehicles to retirement accounts and items of sentimental attachment should be included. You should also assess the value of each of these assets.
What do you owe?
Document the debt that you and your partner acquired together, as well as debts that each of you hold individually. Listing your ongoing expenses is important as well. Student loans, insurance payments, and recurring bills should all be included.
What do you want to achieve?
Think about what parts of your lifestyle and which of your possessions are most important to you. Identify what you need, what you want and what you’d wish for in an ideal situation. Recognizing your priorities can keep you from getting sidetracked during mediation.
What are you willing to give up?
Part of forging a satisfactory settlement is knowing what your spouse is trying to achieve. If some piece of property is important to your spouse but not to you, you can offer it up in exchange for something you’re more interested in.
What are you owed?
Learning the divorce laws in your state is a good place to start. When you know what you are legally entitled to, you can make informed decisions. For example, New Yorkers should be aware that New York is an equitable distribution state. This means a court looks to divide shared property fairly, though not necessarily evenly. The assets each spouse brought into the marriage, the sacrifices they made and their prospects for the future can all be taken into account when determining who gets what. Mediation is a designed to bring about a fair settlement of assets by agreement rather than court decree.
For divorce mediation to be effective and productive, it is crucial for participants to be honest, thorough and willing to make concessions. Make a thoughtful evaluation of what you own and what you wish to keep. You may not be able to get everything you want, but the mediator will work to find solutions that are fair for everyone.
Working with a seasoned mediator will grant you the benefit of experience and focused knowledge. At Solutions Divorce Mediation in Melville, New York, we are dedicated to helping couples in Nassau and Suffolk counties to achieve smooth and agreeable divorces. To arrange a free initial consultation, call us at 1.631.683.8172 or contact us online.