How can you prepare for divorce mediation?

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2024 | Mediation |

Divorce is a life-altering process, and when high-value assets are involved, the stakes become even higher. Mediation can help make this process more manageable. This divorce process can allow you and your spouse to discuss and resolve issues in a controlled and facilitated environment.

In New Jersey, there are key steps you can take to prepare for this process and make the most of mediation.

Understand the mediation process

The first step is to understand the mediation process itself. Unlike litigation, mediation doesn’t involve a judge making decisions for you. Instead, you and your spouse meet with a neutral third-party facilitator who helps you find common ground on various aspects of your divorce, such as property division, child custody, and spousal support. The mediator guides the discussion, keeping it productive and focused.

However, the power to make decisions lies with you and your spouse. Mediation is not about court-ordered decisions. Instead, it emphasizes open communication, negotiation and compromise.

Gather and organize financial documents

The second step is to gather and organize all your financial documents. High-asset divorces often involve complex financial matters, including multiple income sources, investments, and properties. To prepare, make a list of all your assets and liabilities.

Collect pertinent documents like:

  • Tax returns for the past years
  • Bank and investment account statements
  • Real estate deeds and mortgage documents
  • Business records if you or your spouse owns a business
  • Retirement account statements

These documents provide an overview of your income. It also reveals valuable assets that need to undergo division of property.

Set clear and realistic goals

The final step is to set clear and realistic goals for what you hope to achieve from the mediation. Consider key issues like property division, child custody, and spousal support. What are your priorities? What are you willing to compromise on? You might ask yourself, “What is the most important outcome for me?” or “What am I willing to negotiate?”

These questions can guide the discussion based on your unique circumstances and priorities.

Be prepared for different outcomes

Mediation aims to arrive at a fair and mutually agreeable solution. However, if both parties can’t reach a final decision through mediation, this doesn’t mean you’re at a dead end. Other legal avenues are available, and a legal professional can guide the best way forward. This reassures you that there are multiple options to consider in your journey toward divorce resolution.