New Jersey Divorce Mediation Checklist & Tips
The process of a divorce can be extremely stressful for you and your family. It’s important to properly prepare for divorce mediation and know what to expect. Choosing mediation is an excellent first step toward making your divorce run as smoothly as possible. Below are some additional helpful tips to keep in mind as well.
Divorce and Separation Mediation Tips
1. Hire a skilled mediator
Hiring the right divorce mediator is the most important step in the process. It’s crucial to find someone you can trust and who will guide you through the process. Many people think that all mediators are the same, and to just find the one with the lowest fees. You will need someone who is able to resolve the complex issues at hand, which requires a lot of expertise, experience, and knowledge.
2. Actively participate in the divorce mediation process
The whole point of divorce mediation is to come to an agreement peacefully and to resolve a divorce amicably. It’s important to enter mediation with an open mind and understand that neither party is going to get everything that they want. Don’t rely on how you believe divorce mediation should go, but focus on reaching a fair agreement between both parties.
3. Ask the right questions
Ask yourself, what are my goals? What issue are we trying to resolve? Remind yourself frequently of what goals you are trying to achieve during this process, and what issues you are trying to resolve. Whether it be child custody, asset division, or child support, don’t lose sight of your goals.
4. Actively participate in the divorce mediation process
Mediation is a voluntary process, and will not be successful if you or your spouse refuses to actively participate. It’s important for both parties to cooperate and work together, and if one isn’t doing so, it will make the process more difficult than it should be. In order for the mediation process to work, both must be active participants.
5. Always be willing to compromise
Sometimes this step can be difficult for some people going through a divorce, but it’s an important step to a smooth process. In order for any successful mediation session, both must be willing to compromise to find a middle ground.
6. Make sure you are taking care of yourself during this process
Divorce can really take a toll on your mental health. Functioning under extreme levels of stress can often lead to not sleeping, eating, heightened anxiety and depression, etc. This can ultimately lead to poor decision-making if you’re not in the right mental headspace because you could make decisions out of fear or anger. Make sure you are taking care of yourself, don’t let yourself get too emotionally drained and exhausted. Make decisions with a clear head that are going to benefit your future and your children.
7. Don’t rely on the internet
Every state does things differently, so the internet isn’t a reliable source of information when it comes to divorce mediation. Every couple’s situation is different, so it’s important to trust a professional divorce mediator and not a random child support calculator that is most definitely not accurate! Any questions or concerns can be brought up to your mediator and they will have the expertise to guide you in the right direction.
8. Don’t involve friends and family in your divorce
There is a lot of misinformation out there, and a lot of it can come from friends and family. While they do have your best interest in mind, it is unlikely that the advice they give you will be correct. Friends and family are also biased, and they know you better than anyone else, which can lead them to give you wrongful advice or tell you things they know you want to hear. Lean on your friends and family for emotional support, but don’t involve them in the divorce process, it can lead to a sticky situation.
For more helpful tips, check out our New Jersey divorce and legal separation guide. Now that we have gone over some helpful tips when going through divorce mediation, let’s talk about how you should prepare before meeting with your divorce mediator. To get a head start, here’s a divorce mediation checklist of documents you should begin preparing:
Divorce Mediation Checklist – Important Documents
Be sure to have the following important documents ready for the divorce mediation process:
- Bank statements
- Car, boat, and recreational vehicle valuations
- Executive compensation statements
- Investment statements
- Life insurance policies
- List of property with significant value
- Loan and debt information
- Mortgage information
- Partnerships and business interest valuations
- Pay stubs
- Real estate property valuation
- Retirement account or pension statements
- Tax returns
- W-2 statements or 1099s
Divorce mediation can be a positive and collaborative method of conflict resolution in the dissolution of a marriage. Mr. Menack is an experienced mediator that has helped over 5,000 clients over the last 25 years. Contact us today in order to find out more about our mediation services.