Successful mediation requires careful planning
According to the Huffington Post, couples in Illinois and throughout the country who wish to substitute a successful mediation for a messy divorce should come to the table prepared. But before they assemble any documents, they should plan for a successful mediation by doing two important things: ensure that the attorney they choose is not the type that will steer the mediation into litigation and get their emotions under control.
Yes, spouses should plan a budget and outline any concerns, such as traveling with the kids. But unless individuals approach the mediation as a negotiation rather than an opportunity to argue and hurt each other, this approach will fail. Since collaborative divorce is so much healthier for the children, ensuring the mediation's success is critical. The Huffington Post suggests that those going through a collaborative divorce try visiting a qualified therapist to help them minimize their emotions during mediation.
Collaborative divorce may be right for couples who can negotiate amiably with each other. This non-adversarial approach minimizes the expense of a divorce as well as the emotional fall-out from messy litigation. Certainly, children benefit from this less adversarial approach. Therefore, come to the table with all of your paperwork in order. You will need a list of all assets and debts, including those to family members. Also bring a budget that carefully outlines all living expenses and income. Finally, put all other concerns in writing, and do not be afraid to speak with the mediator alone if necessary.
Since non-adversarial divorce is simpler and less stressful to all concerned, anyone who is considering a divorce may wish to investigate this option. An attorney who specializes in family law, collaborative divorce or alternative dispute resolution may be able to simplify the process.
Source: Huffington Post, "How to Prepare for Your First Mediation Session -- Your Eight Steps Plan", Michelle Rozen, October 17, 2013