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Getting ready for that first mediation session

Many people in Connecticut and around the country who are negotiating divorce settlements will enter into the world of mediation. It doesn't have to be scary or difficult if both parties take the time to prepare for the sessions in advance.

One very important thing that each party needs to do is to show up for the meeting with well-organized financial documents. It should included a list of all assets, vehicles, household contents, retirement funds, brokerage accounts, real estate, stocks and any impending legal action. Any debts should also be listed with balances. For mediation to be successful, emotions must be kept under control and both parties need to avoid arguing and negotiate instead.

If one of the parties has specific concerns, it is perfectly acceptable to ask for a few minutes alone with the mediator. This process can be greatly helped if both parties understand their rights, which brings up the best way to put concerns out there for the other side to hear. Maybe one party is concerned about the influence of another family member, or perhaps one of the parties wants to be notified before minor children are introduced to a new significant other during a visit. This is all part of learning the ins and outs of mediation. Reading articles is also helpful, along with understanding legal terms and consultations.

Divorce is a process that involves many steps. Allowing a divorce attorney to review the case may be a good first step for couples in this situation. It may be possible for an attorney to help both parties come to agreements that are fair and in the best interests of any minor children.

Source: Huffington Post, "How to Prepare for Your First Mediation Session -- Your Eight Steps Plan", Michelle Rozen, October 17, 2013

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