I love mediation, it opens the door to opportunities and possibilities. If someone gave you the option to either have your divorce stipulated in a general format without your personal input or give the option to mediate (customize your divorce/life settlement agreement) Which would you choose? It is literally that black and white of a choice.
I would hope you choose to empower yourself and take action. I’m not just saying this because what I do. I express this because taking control and your actions makes a difference in the outcome. It may be very much true that things do not always end up as you plan or you may have friends that had a totally different experience. However, can you imagine if you didn’t try? What type of outcome would you have? Is your divorce settlement agreement what you hoped for? Is it beneficial to you and your children? At the end you have to ask yourself “What would be the best circumstances for my family and me?”
I can give you a handful of reasons to mediate, if what you’ve read has yet to empower you. Let us begin with the consultation process. Know that you and your better half both have a say in your mediator of choice. The consultation alone should be empowering and very informative. Should give you an idea of direction of steps to move forward with.
Ex: What are necessary documents for mediation and why? What is a parenting plan for the individuals that have children? Is child support a requirement? How is it calculated? What type of documents are required for this process? Should you consult with other professionals? What type of professional aside from the mediator can help your divorce process? Debts and assets, how are those divided and do they have to be? Or are you responsible for all the debt? Is that something to negotiate? Alimony, how is that calculated? Is it required? All of this are questions that will go through your mind at one point or another. This questions alone, provides you with direction.
After your consultations the ball is on your side. Both have to choose which mediator you felt most comfortable and knowledgeable to ride with you in the process.
Mediation is a beautiful beast. I know this sounds contradicting. If you think about it. Beautiful because it allows the opportunity to use your emotions, intelligence and creativity all in the process of stipulating possibly the most influential, dictating and lingering agreement of your life. However, along with this feel good words. Always remember every negotiation is a business decision you are making. Many do not come to realize, children makes your settlement somewhat of a lifelong relationship.
Beast is the reality and business side of the process. In mediation the opportunity to express yourselves in a control environment, sometimes is how the process begins to flow. Your mediator should be able to control the environment given both parties the opportunity to speak freely and in private. Confidentiality is a must in the process. Communication is not repeated to the other side if it’s not wished. At the end, it is so important that all decision making is in a good state of mind and know that as harsh as it may sound. It is a business decision and those decisions will dictate the type of divorce settlement agreement you will end with.