What are the Basic Steps of Divorce Mediation?
You agreed on mediation and found a great mediator to help you and your spouse find solutions. Now, the mediation date is coming up, and you are likely wondering, what is next?
Here are the basic steps of divorce mediation.
Introduction: The mediator the mediation process and set a plan. If you or your spouse have questions, they will address those too. Many private mediators intake you and your spouse before the mediation, but some may take this step during the introduction.
Gather information: You and your spouse will share information with each other and the mediator. Documents may include children’s school and activity schedules, bank statements, loan statements, or retirement account valuations. If any documents are missing, the mediator will suggest ways to find them.
Framing needs and interests: Once all the information is on the table, the mediator ascertains each party’s concerns. Most spouses’ needs overlap; they want a fair property division and equal parenting time with children. However, there may be differences, e.g., you may want to keep your retirement account with you, but your spouse wants half of it.
Negotiating an agreement: Negotiation often starts with the issues where you agree, so you enjoy a positive start. Once the mediator handles those stipulations, they move to the conflict areas. That includes addressing any disagreements in property division or child visitation.
Drafting the settlement agreement: Once you conclude the mediation, the mediator outlines a settlement agreement containing the agreed terms. You can then go over it with an attorney or sign it. However, the settlement agreement does not finalize your divorce. It only finalizes the terms so you can file the divorce decree.
If you believe divorce mediation is the right approach for you and your spouse, contact the experienced Long Island divorce lawyers at Solutions Divorce Mediation.