You can probably find countless books, studies and various other types of literature regarding common consensus on why people get divorced. Regardless how well-supported a study might be, or how great a particular author, the reality is that no two marriages are exactly alike. Therefore, the same goes for divorce. That said, many people who do divorce in Colorado, or elsewhere in the nation, often have similar experiences.
For instance, you might be among those who say a severe communication breakdown has been a key factor in your decision to end your marriage. This might also be a determining reason for wanting to use mediation as alternative means for addressing certain unresolved issues before obtaining a final ruling in your divorce.
What exactly is divorce mediation?
If you and your soon-to-be former spouse have trouble communicating, you might want to consider enlisting the help of a mediator. Divorce mediation is a process where both parties agree to allow a third, neutral party to guide them through negotiations to obtain an agreeable divorce settlement. Issues commonly addressed in mediation including the following:
- Parenting plans: From child custody and parenting time, to child support and other parenting issues, this tends to be a topic that evokes strong emotions on both sides. Voicing concerns in a calm and amicable fashion is easier when you allow a skilled mediator to guide you through discussions.
- Liabilities and assets: State laws vary when it comes to marital property and outstanding debt, as well as how certain assets will be divided, and they can be complicated and difficult to understand without knowledgeable clarification.
- Taxes: If you are anything like millions of others in the nation, tax-related issues are seldom easy to understand, not to mention how complex they can get with regard to divorce! Mediation is a valuable tool for resolving tax-related issues in divorce.
- Retirement: Although you might not have thought that far ahead yet, there may be several issues regarding the impact divorce might have on your retirement that you can address in mediated sessions.
You might have other unresolved issues you’d like to talk about in mediation. The process is customizable to the extent that you may discuss any matter of paramount importance to you. The main idea behind this alternative form of divorce negotiation is that you rely on a neutral party to guide you through the process to prevent courtroom battles and contentious debates.
Preparing for mediation sessions
Agreeing to enter mediation doesn’t mean you have to sit back and do nothing while others achieve reasonable solutions to unresolved issues that may be delaying your divorce settlement. To the contrary, choosing this form of negotiation already implies that you desire to be proactive toward accomplishing your goals. The following are things you can do to arrive at your first session as prepared as possible:
- Get your attitude in check: Whether you’ve been married three decades or a little more than a year, divorce is never easy. In order for mediation to be successful, you and your soon-to-be former spouse must agree to keep emotions under control to prevent angry outbursts that impede the mediation process.
- Be ready for full disclosure: To resolve issues concerning assets and liabilities, both parties must fully disclose all pertinent financial information and any other data relevant to the topic. Coming to the table fully prepared typically includes bringing all bank account info, as well as records regarding investments, outstanding debts and all credit card information.
- Act alongside experienced representation: Retaining the guidance of a family law attorney who is skilled and experienced in divorce mediation is often the best way to protect your rights and best interests during these and all other divorce proceedings.
You have the right to explore all available options that maximize your chances for obtaining the best possible outcome as you finalize your divorce and make plans for a happy, successful future. You know what is best for yourself and your children, and an experienced advocate can support you as you take steps in a positive direction to accomplish your goals.