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How Should I Prepare for Divorce Mediation in Illinois?

Posted on in Divorce

In many ways, divorce mediation offers advantages over trial litigation, including greater control over the outcome, increased privacy, and often lower costs and a shorter time frame. However, it is a mistake to assume that mediation is “easy” and therefore requires less preparation. Even if you and your spouse get along exceptionally well and are committed to a mutually beneficial resolution, you will still have to make many important decisions that can affect the rest of your lives. With so much on the line, it is best to go into your mediation sessions fully prepared.

Tips for Preparing for Divorce Mediation

If you have decided to try to resolve your divorce through mediation, here are some things you can do to prepare before the process officially begins:

  1. Gather your documents. Primarily, this includes documentation of your financial assets and debts, including both marital property and your own personal, non-marital property. Bringing your own documents can help you protect your interests as you negotiate a fair division of property. If you and your spouse have previously created a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, this is also an important document to bring with you to mediation, as it can significantly expedite the process.

  2. Establish your priorities. In addition to dividing assets and debts, you and your spouse may also need to reach a resolution on other important issues like parenting time and responsibilities, child support, and spousal support, depending on your situation at the time of the divorce. As you consider each of these areas, you should identify your most important goals when reaching a resolution so that you can focus on them throughout the mediation.

  3. Prepare for constructive communication. It is also a good idea to ensure that you enter mediation with the right mindset. You will usually have a better chance of reaching a satisfying agreement if you commit to communicating civilly and professionally without letting your emotions get in the way. It is also important to commit to listening to your spouse’s perspective rather than focusing entirely on your own.

  4. Consult with your attorney. Although a divorce mediator may also be a licensed attorney, he or she cannot act as your legal representative during mediation. Rather, the mediator must remain neutral and focus on facilitating an agreement between both sides. However, you can still choose to hire a separate attorney who represents you alone and offers valuable legal advice as you enter mediation. Your attorney can also represent you in court if mediation is unsuccessful.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Mediator

Whether you need an experienced divorce mediator or an attorney to represent your interests, the Law Offices of Benedict Schwarz, II PC can help. We strive to help our clients resolve their divorce with as little conflict as possible using a method that meets their unique needs. To request a free consultation, call our qualified and dedicated St. Charles divorce attorney today at 847-428-7725.

 

Source:

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/how-to-prepare-for-your-f_b_4109798

 

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