Divorce Mediation: 5 Key Steps
One of the reasons mediation is one of the best methods for getting divorced is that it breaks down the process into simpler steps that keep everyone on the same page. When you first start to work with a mediator, knowing what steps they’ll take you through helps you understand what will happen next in the process. Divorce Options San Diego—experienced professionals who provide premier San Diego divorce mediation services to couples seeking creative divorce solutions—outline the most important steps below. Keep in mind that the time frame for each one of these steps may vary, since it truly is up to you and your spouse how you eventually reach an agreement.
1. Make Your Introductions
As with most types of services, you’ll first need to introduce yourself to the mediator. This initial appointment allows the mediator to share some of his or her background with you so you feel more confident in the process. The mediator will also use this time to get a feel for how you and your spouse work together so he or she can recommend the best route to come to a resolution. By the time you finish this step, you should have a clear understanding of the issues that need to be decided upon, such as how to manage the splitting up of your assets and child custody issues.
Divorce Options San Diego asks our clients to fill out questionnaires, and during the initial stage, we review those questionnaires with clients, talk about their concerns and anxieties, and set expectations about major steps.
2. Gather and Share Essential Information
You’ll need to be fully informed regarding the issues you’ll be discussing in the upcoming appointments. Your mediator will probably give you an outline of items you need to bring to the next appointment, such as financial summaries, tax returns, pay stubs, and lists of all assets and debts.
3. Develop the Framework
During the framing stage of mediation, your mediator will communicate separately with you and your spouse to identify your main interests and needs. This step addresses issues such as whether or not you prefer to have custody of your child or if you believe it’s in your best interest to stay in your current house. Your mediator communicates with you and your spouse separately to avoid stress and lessen anxiety during the process.
4. Start Negotiations
This is the main step where you’ll begin to lay down the basic components of your settlement agreement. This step can take one appointment or several, if you and your spouse find it difficult to agree. Although this portion of the mediation process can get stressful, mediators are trained to help you use problem-solving skills to get to an acceptable resolution.
During this step, the Divorce Options San Diego team typically prepares community property equalization plans and discusses creative ways to distribute the estate. In the meantime, we have filed Petition and Response and the financial disclosures, and we have started working on the parenting plan and the settlement agreement.
5. Conclude with a Settlement
This is the final step, and it represents a major achievement, since it means you’re finished with the negotiations. Your mediator will now draft a settlement agreement that addresses all the issues required by law. Once you and your spouse look at it and agree to it, this can then be used to draft the final settlement agreement that gets sent to the court.
Divorce Options San Diego can handle every aspect of your divorce for you, including complicated financial matters, so you won’t need to hire expensive attorneys. As San Diego divorce mediators, we offer a one-stop shop approach for couples who are looking for a way to dissolve their marriages amicably and with mutual respect. To learn more about our groundbreaking approach to divorce, give us a call today at (858) 281-2628.