Your marriage is over and you want to save money and time and prevent the emotional trouble many people experience during a divorce. Mediation seems like a good option. What should you do?
Mediation is an informal process that is usually less expensive than other methods of divorce, including the collaborative divorce process and litigation. By keeping conflict low, mediation offers parties a chance to make required agreements and move forward without undue delay.
When you are ready for mediation, consider these steps:
- Locate an effective mediator: There are many professionals and paraprofessionals, such as paralegals, offering divorce mediation. Stick with an experienced family law attorney who is trained in mediation. A skilled attorney acting as a mediator foresees legal problems that might arise and informs you of potential consequences you should know about.
- Prepare emotionally for your mediation: Mediation helps people create satisfying divorce agreements. Make a list on paper of what you need from the mediation and what you want. Arrive ready to negotiate and compromise — but keep your real needs in mind.
- Prepare financially for your mediation: Bring documents like pay stubs, tax returns and statements on all banking, savings, retirement, investment and other accounts. Prepare a realistic budget for your household.
- Understand the ground rules: Talk to your mediator about ground rules prior to your session. Ask about process and whether the parties can speak privately with the mediator about private concerns that might become sticking points during the mediation.
As an informal method of dispute resolution, mediation offers a great deal. If you feel uncomfortable without legal representation, you and your spouse can each bring an attorney for personal legal support during mediation.
If you are looking for a reasonable path toward divorce in New York, and you are ready to work with your spouse to get on with life, think about mediation. When you have questions about divorce or mediation, talk to us at Bryan L. Salamone & Associates P.C.