Westlake Village & Thousand Oaks Divorce Attorney

How to Prepare for a Meeting with a Mediator

If you and your soon-to-be-ex spouse have decided to use a mediator to go the route of an amicable divorce, then you probably thing there is a good chance at settling things reasonably. There are a few things you can do ahead of time to help make sure that result is achieved.

1. Make a list. Write down all of the issues that are important to you and how you would like them to be resolved. Try to keep an open mindset and remember this isn't a wish list of everything you would want to get your own way. Use reasonable solutions whenever possible and be sure to identify those issues that are really important to you. With that the mediator will have a basis on how much negotiation room there is on some issues compared to others.

2. Put together important documents. The mediator will probably give you a list of documents you need to provide at the initial meeting, but it can only help you to start getting these documents together ahead of time. These documents include, but are not limited to: bank statements, mortgage statements, other financial paperwork pertaining to any assets, whether owned jointly or separately. If child custody is an issue, bring documents relating to the child's welfare and that support the custodial order you are seeking. Burying the mediator in a mountain of paperwork isn't going to help anyone so only bring what is most important. Save the mountain of paperwork for the financial expert if the mediator decides that one is necessary.

3. Relax. Don't let yourself dwell on minor issues or recall fights you and your ex had. Bringing up negative memories in the days leading up to your mediation appointment won't be helpful and can actually hurt your willingness to negotiate. Instead, do something to help yourself relax. Go out to dinner with a group of friends the night before or see a fun movie. If you are feeling happy when you walk into mediation, you will be much more likely to have a good result and a positive experience.

4. Be open. This point is probably the most important. Mediation only works when both sides are willing to negotiate and give in a little bit. If you come to terms with this ahead of time and are willing to recognize the fact that you're not going to get your way 100% you will be more successful in negotiation and therefore happier.

Divorce is a difficult time for both parties involved but at Richard Ross Associates we strive to make it as painless a process as possible. Contact us today for more information.

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