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Increase Your Chances of Success by Preparing for Divorce Mediation

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Mediation can provide a lower-conflict, less-formal means of dividing marital property and creating a custody-sharing arrangement with your spouse in a divorce. Some couples might approach mediation as a mere formality, a waystation on the path to a courtroom divorce, and fail to take the opportunity to reach a settlement on important issues without spending the time and money on a courtroom trial. However, a mediation session is unlikely to be successful without some strategizing and preparation in advance of your scheduled session. Learn more below about ways you can prepare in advance to make a divorce mediation session more likely to be successful, and contact a New York family law attorney for more information.

Get your documents ready, even if they weren’t requested: Unlike a courtroom trial, your spouse and their attorney might not request in advance that you prepare a complete financial picture or disclose years of account statements and tax documents showing your income and all property and debts under your name. However, bringing documents to your mediation that paint a complete picture of your finances could come in very handy, and could even make the difference between being able to complete a division of assets during your mediation and having to return at a future date.

Create a game plan with your attorney: Discuss with your attorney how they see the mediation going, including whether you should plan to talk or simply allow your attorney to handle the conversation, as well as what you should expect from the discussion. If your and your spouse’s attorneys have already been discussing settlement options, make sure you understand the current offer and how far off it is from what you want. Discuss what you think your spouse would want from the mediation with your lawyer, and try to plan for (and avoid) any emotional land mines you think you might encounter.

Determine where you’re willing to compromise: Mediation will inevitably involve some compromise in order to be successful. Knowing in advance where you are or aren’t willing to cede ground to your spouse will help you avoid digging in your heels and thwarting a resolution on issues that ultimately don’t matter to you. That said, it’s also important to know where your most firm boundaries are, so that you understand when it’s worthwhile to walk away from a mediation and fight on for what really matters.

If you’re considering filing for a New York divorce and want skilled, experienced, and effective legal representation for your case, contact the Hudson Valley family law attorneys at Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP for a consultation, at 845-331-4100 (Kingston), or at 845-236-4411 (Marlboro).

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