Your first meeting with a divorce mediation professional may be a little daunting. Even if you've talked with the mediator or their staff before that initial meeting, getting through the door can be difficult. This is why we've developed a useful overview of what to anticipate in order to make your first session less stressful. Read on to find out more.
The First Session Is Educational
The first session is most likely the only session where the mediator performs most of the talking. It's critical to recognise that mediation is neither therapy nor litigation. There is no guilt or blame to be assigned to either person.
Before the mediation can get underway, you will have to enter into a process of full financial disclosure. The reason for this is so each of you gains an understanding of the assets the other person has in order to allow you to enter into a discussion about a fair split of the assets.
Participation in divorce mediation is entirely optional, and the mediator will explain that a couple or person can choose to end mediation or put the process on pause at any moment. In other words, the first meeting is all about gathering information for both the mediator and the couple or individual attending. In that way, everyone involved in the process will know exactly where to go from there.
The Mediator Is Not There To Judge You
Don't worry about earning the mediator's favour; they are trained to remain impartial at all times. They will not make legal decisions in the same way that a judge would during the divorce mediation process. Instead, think of family mediation as a problem-solving exercise. These issues might be about how children are to be raised, how assets can be split, and what the divorce process is like. These are all concerns that can be addressed while engaging in separation or divorce mediation, so concentrate on finding solutions to these difficulties instead.
The divorce mediator will assist you in identifying your alternatives for moving ahead and then narrowing down which option is best for your situation. They will not tell you what to do, but they will share their legal expertise and draw on their own experience as a family mediator. They will not pass judgement on you; their only goal is to assist you in reaching an agreement so that you can both go on.
You'll Need Your Documents And Paperwork
As previously mentioned, the mediator will need to see financial records and other documentation. You will have to share this with your ex-partner within the mediation. This means you'll need to make sure you have all of this ready before attending your appointment. This will save you time, money, and worry. Even if the mediator does not need these papers during your first session, they will be required at any subsequent sessions. You should have a list of your assets, obligations, income, retirement savings, and other relevant financial papers. You could also create a budget based on specific costs like mortgage and vehicle payments, daycare, health insurance, and so on. Your lawyer should be able to assist you with this.
You Can Choose To Speak Privately
There might be some things that you want to discuss privately with your mediator. This is perfectly acceptable; there are sure to be some things you don't want your spouse to know about right away. Make sure you contact your mediator and ask about this before your session.
Contact Family Law Mediation today
If you think family mediation might be the right direction for you and your family, contact Family Law Mediation today. We have over 15 years of experience in supporting couples and families going through a divorce and understand how stressful the experience can be. We offer family mediation Nottingham, mediation Leicester, as well as mediation Derby.
Get in touch by filling out our online form, or give us a call to set up a mediation information assessment meeting to determine whether family mediation is the right approach for your unique situation