When you and your spouse decide to divorce, the goal should be to leave the marriage as equally and peacefully as possible. If you have an amicable relationship without any significant complexities, you may want to consider mediation. Mediation is a way to divorce without going through a traditional court trial. The process is less expensive and faster than a divorce in court.
Mediation is a great way to end a marriage when you and your spouse agree on your divorce terms and can discuss things that you do not see eye to eye on. If you decide to go with mediation, consider some of these tips to ensure a successful process.
Make a Plan in Advance
Mediation allows you and your spouse to discuss the terms of your divorce and make your own decisions. The process is generally simple and straightforward, but you still need to make a plan ahead of time. You need to know exactly what you want regarding child support, alimony, and the like.
You should also consider what you believe your spouse may want or how he or she will react to your desired outcome. You also need to know how you will react in the event you do not agree with what your spouse wants from the mediation.
Plan to Negotiate
Mediation is an exercise in give and take. You need to go into the process knowing you are entering a negotiation. Although you both agreed to mediation, one or both of you may get into the meetings and decide you do not like the direction in which the process is going. You may find yourselves arguing over various terms in your divorce that neither of you anticipated.
This is a time when you need to make some decisions. You have the option to concede to the terms set forth by your spouse. If you make concessions on some points, your spouse may be willing to do the same on other terms.
You do not want to enter into a conflict during mediation, as the process will ultimately go downhill. Your only option at that point would be to leave mediation and go through a courtroom divorce trial.
Keep in mind if you leave mediation, you can no longer use the mediation attorney again for a divorce trial. You will essentially start completely over with new legal representation. This is why negotiation and compromise is crucial to a successful mediation.
Have a Custody Plan Ready
Before you enter the mediation, have a custody plan ready. This may be something you have already discussed with your spouse, but you should have the plan written out on paper to enter into your divorce records. If you have not talked about custody, make a preliminary plan and be willing to make changes if necessary.
When you make the preliminary custody plan, be sure to take all school breaks, holidays, birthdays, and extra-curricular activities into consideration. You also need to consider both of your work schedules. Do not go into mediation with a set plan you are unwilling to change.
Mediation has many benefits, but it is not for everyone. If you need assistance with a mediation or a traditional courtroom divorce, please contact the Law Offices of Lynda Latta LLC. We happily serve all clients in New Mexico, including Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, and the surrounding areas. Please call us with all of your family law needs.