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Sharon Easley
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Preparing for mediation

If you are choosing to mediate your divorce, it is likely because you are aware of the benefits this process can yield. Mediation can deliver substantial savings both in terms of financial cost as well as in time and psychological wear and tear.

Taking the time to prepare for your mediation sessions can help you get the most out of the process. The following steps can lead to a more effective, streamlined mediation:

Have your information ready

Having all pertinent information readily available helps the mediator get the facts quickly and proceed to help you with effective solutions. This includes all financial information, such as bank accounts, investments, real estate property, businesses, insurance policies and other assets and sources of income. Make a list as well as copies of documents to back up each entry. Likewise, make a list of ongoing expenses such as mortgage payments, children's activities, insurance premiums and daily living expenses. Having all the information at hand from the start saves time and miscommunication.

Prioritize the children's interests

If you have children, their welfare should play a major role in your divorce process. Custody and visitation issues can get contentious quickly; looking at them through the lens of the children's best interest can help you and your soon-to-be-ex keep focused.

Set your goals

Mediators can help you work towards your goals, but they cannot decide those goals; only you can do that. Your mediation sessions are more likely to be productive if you go in with a clear idea of what you want to achieve. Keep in mind that mediation is a collaborative process and you will need to compromise on some of your goals. While some matters may remain non-negotiable to you, you may be willing to give in on others.

Be willing to work together

You do not need to be on the best terms with your soon-to-be-ex or have a simple situation to benefit from mediation. Skilled mediators know how to resolve conflicts and facilitate constructive communication. However, it can help the process if the two of you work on focused, effective communication and share a willingness to compromise.

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