Divorce is a difficult situation for any couple to deal with. You probably have lots of questions and may be feeling overwhelmed at the beginning of the process. Many people probably assume that a divorce can only be dealt with by involving lawyers, but that is not the case. If both parties are on the same page and would like to speed up the process, a divorce mediator is a great solution.
Now that you know that divorce mediation is an option for you and your spouse, what exactly does the divorce mediation process look like? We’ll break down the general steps that couples take when working with a divorce mediator.
Breaking Down the Divorce Mediation Process
While divorce mediators may have their own specific approach, most mediations follow the same general process. This is typically how the flow of a divorce mediation will go:
- Reach out to the divorce mediator – You may contact them through their website contact form or by phone, but ultimately the mediator will want to go over some background information in regards to your marriage, your family, and what issues need to be resolved.
- Attend an initial meeting – In this meeting, the mediator will give you an overview of the process. You and your spouse may be asked to have brief separate meetings where you share your views regarding the divorce in private. There will also likely be some basic housekeeping and paperwork required.
- Negotiate settlement of terms – Ideally, the divorce mediation process will resolve all the issues of your divorce including financial settlements, and if children are involved, the question of custody will also be dealt with.
- File final paperwork – There may be some paperwork required, including filing a case in court to dissolve the marriage. Once that has been completed the divorce agreement is implemented.
Areas of Discussion During Divorce Mediation
During the initial meeting you will discuss a variety of important areas in regards to the divorce. The major areas of discussion will be broken down as follows:
Equitable Distribution of Assets & Liabilities
- Home and mortgage
- Bank accounts and investments
- Retirement accounts (IRAs, 401k’s, etc.)
- Cars and other vehicles
- Loans and credit card balances
Parenting (if required)
- Child Custody
- Visitation and parenting time
- Holidays and vacations
- Child support
Alimony/Spousal Support (if applicable)
- Assistance transitioning from married life to independent life
The divorce mediation process is designed to get both parties ready to move forward with their independent lives. The goal is to meet civilly and focus on wrapping things up to prepare for the future.