A divorce mediation in California is worth striving for. While a divorce proceeding could bring out the worst in both parties, a mediation encourages cooperation and mutually agreed upon solutions between spouses. If you see mediation as a worthy alternative dispute resolution, there are important steps you can take to get yourself ready for an upcoming mediation.
First, Findlaw recommends that you retain the services of a qualified attorney. A mediation may not be the same as a court hearing, but that does not mean you do not need legal representation. It is important to receive quality legal advice during the process up until the final agreement is presented. While your mediator might also be an attorney, the mediator is not permitted to provide you or your spouse with legal advice.
It is also important not to fear the mediation process. You may believe your spouse is too difficult to work with. Some couples may also fear that they cannot even speak to each other in person due to the emotional distress it would bring. However, mediation can offer a calming influence, as it does not present the stressful environment of a court setting. If a couple genuinely wants to work out their divorce amicably, the mediation setting will help them get in the right mindset even if they are too emotional about it at first.
Additionally, do not fear that the mediation will fail. Mediations do not have to solve all issues. A mediation can settle many issues and still be a success. The remainder can be resolved at a later time. Also, you can delay the mediation’s conclusion to give you added time to think about the issues that are outstanding.
The Huffington Post also recommends that you write down every concern you may have about your upcoming divorce. Do not fear that your spouse will be insulted by anything you have to ask, especially if the two of you will share custody of children. Is there anybody on your spouse’s side of the family that you fear is a bad influence? Where will your spouse take your children on vacations? It is better to go through these matters at the mediation stage then let them fester and present future complications.
Finally, prepare all the important financial paperwork. You should list your checking accounts, savings accounts, stocks, retirement accounts and other assets you possess. Next, be sure to list your financial debts. These can consist of anything from your student debts to mortgages to bank loans. Take inventory of your physical assets, like your vehicles or a home you currently own. When in doubt, ask the mediator before your mediation session what you need to bring.