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What to bring to - and what to expect from - divorce mediation

For some Rhode Island couples seeking a divorce, mediation is preferable to litigation. These couples may want to finish their divorce quickly and with as little strife as possible, two things that may not happen if they litigated their divorce instead. Last week we discussed some good reasons why couples in Rhode Island seeking a divorce may choose divorce mediation. Today we will continue our series on mediation by going over some ways individuals can help make their mediation session successful.

First of all, take some time before the mediation proceedings begin to consider what is important to you and what your goals are ahead of time. Don't just think in terms of positions, but consider the purposes underlying each suggestion you make.  Instead of "I want 60%" try something like "I want to remain in the house because it is cheaper than finding a good apartment for me and the kids; further, I will need some extra money to replace some of the old appliances that we've talked about for years."  It is also important to remain flexible. Mediation is about compromise, in which an agreement may be reached that is for the most part satisfactory to both sides.

Secondly, a good portion of the mediation is about financial matters.  You should bring several months statements for each bank account, investment account, retirement account, mortgage, car loans and credit card statements; of course, as you start, you may find that more documentation is needed.  

Lastly, mediation sessions are about your future and is entagled with all the emotions that are present between you and your spouse.  I have found that coming to a mediation session after a full day of work and stress is not condusive to a full discussion.  We want to make your session productive, so we suggest mediations begin no later than 3:30 p.m. unless unusual circumstances will not allow anything other than a later start.  

In the end, while divorce mediation is not a winner-take-all game, it is often a good way for couples to settle their divorce issues in a manner that is emotionally and financially satisfying. Rhode Island couples who want more information about mediating a divorce may want to seek legal advice.

Source: The Huffington Post, "MediYAYtion: Why Your Upcoming Divorce Mediation is a Good Thing! (And Instructions on How to Rock It!)," Christina Pesoli, May 16, 2016

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Law Office of Steven J. Hirsch, Esq

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