• Eric Wollard

Mediation DOs and DON'Ts

INTRO: You have decided you want to use mediation to settle your divorce or separation. If you want to approach your divorce or separation amicably and avoid lawyers and court, read this article for a list of important do's and don'ts.





Divorce Mediation DOs and DON'Ts - Don't Scuttle the Ship Before You Set Sail


So, you have decided you want to use mediation to settle your divorce or separation. But if you're not careful, you could still end up in court. If you want to approach your divorce or separation amicably and avoid lawyers and court, here's a list of some do's and don'ts:


DO:


  • Make a list of your assets with corresponding values, including real estate, bank accounts, vehicles, investments, and retirement accounts.

  • Make a list of your debts with corresponding balances and monthly payments.

  • Make a list of monthly expenses for each of you, not only now, but your anticipated expenses after separation.

  • Think about your needs regarding property/debt settlement.

  • Think about spousal support and, if it's an issue, what resources might be available to pay it.

  • Think about what kind of parenting plan might work best for your children in terms of making decisions, regular parenting time, holidays, extended parenting time for vacations, and support.

  • Be courteous and open-minded, prepared to discuss and listen to possibilities.

  • Come prepared to be creative and flexible.

  • Take a break or request a private meeting with the mediator if you start to feel frustrated or angry.


DON'T:


  • Come to mediation with absolute positions or a bottom line stance.

  • Hide or act like you're hiding information.

  • Refuse to consider ideas or information from the other person or mediator.

  • Be rude or abusive.

  • Agree to something you don't understand.

  • Agree to something you don't really want to and then complain to others that you got a bad deal.

  • Lean too heavily on the other person to sign an agreement if they don't feel right about it, even if it seems fair and reasonable to you.


Minding these DOs and DON'Ts can keep you far away from lawyers and court, but ignoring them could send the other person straight for them!

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