Preparing for Divorce Mediation
The decision to attend mediation to settle your divorce matters is a beneficial one. Couples have the option to discuss their post-divorce arrangements and come to settlement agreements in the presence of a professional mediator, who is trained to minimize conflict and help produce positive results for the entire family. Before you begin the negotiation process, though, it is important to address core issues that will be discussed during mediation. This will help ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible and that you are not caught off-guard when it is time to reach an agreement.
Here are some key areas every couple should discuss in preparation of the mediation process:
Whether you share regular checking and savings accounts, vacation funds, or credit cards, it is important to take inventory of all your joint accounts and make sure you have copies of everything. This includes mortgage statements, wills, and trusts. If you are able to civilly discuss money matters with your soon-to-be ex-spouse before mediation, it is helpful to do so, but if that is not an option, gather the financial records for yourself and wait to tackle the subject until your mediation conference.
Any property or other valuables you share should also be taken into account as you prepare for mediation. Direct any questions or concerns to your attorney beforehand, and be sure to write down your wants, needs, and preferences. Make a list. Do you wish to sell your current property after the divorce? Do you own any vehicles, and if so, how would you like to divide the property?
Custody and Parenting Plans
If you share a child with your spouse, you will need to construct a parenting plan that you both agree on as you move forward with the divorce process. During mediation, you may discuss everything from custody wishes to more specific parenting arrangements, such as how the child will be raised and how their living arrangements should be handled. Have an in-depth discussion with your family about post-divorce lifestyle arrangements and what would make everyone most comfortable.
The state of Illinois allows either party in a mediation case to have additional representation present during mediation conferences. This means you may request to have a friend, family member, or private attorney by your side during the process. It is never too early to begin making these arrangements. Contact a knowledgeable Kane County divorce attorney today to secure the proper legal representation for your case. Call Shaw Family Law, P.C. at 630-584-5550 to schedule a consultation.