Divorces are not always about bitter court battles that leave a sour taste in both parties' mouths. It is possible to have an uncontested divorce in which both parties have reached a settlement about marital issues without the need to have a judge intervene. If you and your spouse are planning to attend mediation to settle your affairs, here are some tips for preparing for the sessions.
Determine Your Bottom Line
Walking into negotiations with your spouse, it is important to know what outcome you want. However, you should not focus just on everything you want, but also your bottom line. Your bottom line is what you absolutely need to feel as if the settlement was fair.
It is important to realize that just like you have a bottom line, your spouse does, too. You have to decide what you are willing to give up or compromise on to achieve your bottom line. For instance, are you willing to give up the family home in exchange for reduced alimony payments?
Prepare All Necessary Documentation
Before you head into mediation with your spouse, you need to collect all relevant documents, make copies of them, and provide a copy to your spouse. There are a couple of reasons you want to do this.
One of the main reasons is that your spouse will have a clear picture of what is at stake. He or she can determine his or her needs more effectively, which can help avoid a delay in the process. You also want to provide documentation because you do not want your spouse to think you are hiding information. If he or she believes that, any attempts at mediation could be disrupted.
Ideally, you and your spouse should be able to reach a conclusion to your divorce in a relatively short period. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes, it can take several sessions and months before a successful settlement is crafted.
Although you might get frustrated with the process and your spouse, it is important that you avoid giving him or her deadlines. When you issue a deadline or ultimatum, you are basically pushing your spouse to take a defensive position. At that point, the chances of peacefully resolving the divorce go out the window.
You and your spouse can consult with the mediator to learn more ways that you can keep your negotiations on the right track. For more information, contact a company like The Divorce Company.