Now that you have decided to use divorce mediation to resolve the differences between you and your spouse, it is best to take a few steps to prepare for the mediation session.
What to Bring to a Divorce Mediation Session
Your divorce mediator will provide a list of documents that you should bring to your first divorce mediation session, which may include any of the following and more:
Court documents: collect all the documents that were filed or required by the court. Organizing these papers in a file will help with the divorce mediation process.
Your assets, debts, and marital property: start compiling a list of your real estate, vehicles, bank accounts, personal property, credit card debt, and loans.
Recent financial statements: write down all your financial accounts and then collect recent statements. This includes bank statements, retirement savings, investments, credit card account balances, pension plans, and outstanding loans.
A list of what is important to you in these discussions: don’t rely on your memory to address things that are important to you—write them down instead. In the course of negotiations, it can be easy to overlook something that you wanted to discuss.
Insurance policies: collect your insurance policies for medical coverage, automobiles, house or apartment, and life insurance so that you can discuss how coverage will be maintained after the divorce.
What to Think About
Preparing for divorce mediation is not just about collecting documents. Preparation involves adjusting your mindset and your expectations.
Divorce mediation takes time: a divorce mediation session may take hours, and this can be quite draining both physically and emotionally. Prepare for this by taking good care of yourself in the days preceding the mediation, getting adequate rest, and be sure to bring along food and drinks in the event they are not provided.
Adopt a positive mindset: divorce mediation requires patience, an open mind, and a willingness to work together to reach a compromise. Having a positive mindset will help you through the process.
Be Prepared to Talk
Divorce mediation centers around discussion between the spouses—even if those conversations only take place through the mediator. Be prepared to talk about some topics, including:
- Division of property: divorce mediation involves discussing what property belongs to the marital estate and what property belongs to the individual spouse
- Child custody: familiarize yourself with Michigan’s laws regarding child custody so that you can have knowledgeable discussions and make informed decisions
- Child support: learn about Michigan’s laws regarding child support so that you are prepared to discuss expenses and each parent’s responsibility
- Spousal support: in Michigan, there is no one-size-fits-all formula for spousal support so be prepared to discuss your income and your financial obligations
- Child visitation: what will the visitation schedule be? Who spends time with the child on birthdays? Give some thought to school holidays and vacations so you and your spouse can work towards an agreement
- Communication: how will you and your spouse communicate after the divorce? How will disputes or childcare arrangements be addressed? Deciding the best method now will make for a smoother transition to divorce
We Are Here to Help
Divorce—whether that is through divorce mediation or traditional divorce litigation—is an emotional process and can be overwhelming. At The Smith Law Offices, P.C., we are here to help. Contact our family law attorneys at 734-729-4465 or online to schedule a consultation.