Divorce mediation is a process that you can’t jump into without preparing for it. Taking the time to get things together and to make sure that you have clear goals is important. You have to take the specifics of the situation into account so you can determine what you should focus on when striving for a fair divorce settlement.
When you are getting ready, you need to think about everything that must be decided during the mediation sessions. This is usually property division and child custody, but it might also include other factors like alimony or what will happen with a family business.
Make a list
One of the first things that you should do when preparing for mediation is make a list of the things you feel you must fight for. This might be for a certain asset or for primary custody of the children. By establishing your priorities now, you can set a plan that has those at the center.
As you are making your list, make a note of what you don’t want to fight for at all. Maybe you don’t care about the marital home or the art collection. Those might be good leverage points for your side of the matter.
It is always a good idea to have as much documentation as possible. Try to have copies of bank, investment, and other financial or asset statements. Ideally, you will have the ones from the time of the separation and now. You also need to have copies of debts, such as credit card bills, since those will be divided during the process.
If you are heading in to a child custody mediation, you may need to have information about health insurance and similar matters. It is always better to have documents that you might need and to not need them than it is to wish you had brought something with you.
Plan your strategy
The strategy that you use during mediation is important. You should try to start with a bit more than you are willing to settle for in the end. This gives you room to negotiate. Ideally, you will have one or two focal points and the rest should be up for negotiation. There are some instances in which you may have to reevaluate your stance because of the way the mediation is going.
It is a good idea to learn the options that you have for your situation. This gives you information that you can use to make decisions at each step as you work to settle your divorce in Maryland.