The purpose of mediation is to bring the two parties together to find the most beneficial solution to all parties (children being the top priority) in terms of divorce. The mediator serves as the neutral third party who works together with the two parties in an effort to bring everyone to an agreeable and cost-effective conclusion. There are many issues that could be covered in a mediation setting, but the top three we will focus on today include:
1.) The Children
2.) The Assets
3.) The Future
In a mediation setting, the couple, along with a mediator, works out an amicable agreement regarding these issues (and any others requested). In an ideal world, the agreements come easily however when this is not the case, the mediator is there to provide direction, ideas, and guide the couple in such important decisions. Before anyone comes to the mediation table however, these three issues should be well thought-out and considered. And, with a little compromise, a willing heart, and a lot of empathy, most couples are able to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.
So, if you find yourself approaching a mediation meeting, here are some things to consider in each of these areas:
By far, the most important part of any divorce agreement is the children. Think about ways to ease the divorce on your children together. Think through the logistics of visitations and give yourself a reality check as you imagine life in that scenario. This agreement will not just include custody, but also consider parenting time, parenting values, child support, and maintenance. Obviously, this area can be so difficult to come to terms with and mediation can really help provide the couple with an unbiased perspective of what a “real world” picture will be.
The assets a couple has together will be divided. It can be helpful to come prepared with a list, arranged by importance, of items you desire to keep and items you are willing to part with. Coming with three lists of “Yes” “No” and “Maybe” can be helpful so long as both parties remember that a mutual decision will be reached and some of those yes’s may need to go on the no list.
A divorce enters you into a new world, yet part of that new world may include the other person. This is especially true if a couple has children together, however even those that do not may still have mutual friends, neighborhoods, and routines where they may run into one another. Coming up with a “code of conduct” so to speak, can be very helpful for these situations. Doing so will allow you to make an agreement in advance about your behavior should that time arise and can likely prevent new conflict from coming up.