How to Prepare for Divorce Mediation in New York

7488033_sBy now most couples are aware that divorce mediation has several distinct advantages over litigation: Speed, privacy, and lower cost are chief among them, but there are many more subtle benefits to the emotional state of each spouse and the potential for a future relationship, not to mention less stress for children, who are remarkably sensitive to even the slightest hint of animosity.

However, divorce mediation in New York is not a magic pill that will instantly resolve everything. In order to have the best possible chance of success when engaging in divorce mediation in New York, there are several simple steps you can take to maximize your success.

Steps to Mediation Success

  1. Be open to mediation. If you are feeling forced into the process, it is almost guaranteed to fail.  But if you do give it a chance, then truly put in the effort to try it.  It may take some effort on your part to learn how the process works, since many of us are more familiar with the court process.  We hear about it from friends, we watch it on the news, we see it in television sitcoms and in movies, but rarely are we exposed to the mediation process.  It’s kind of a hidden “secret”.
  2. Prepare your documents, especially financial documents. Gather together everything you believe is applicable to the questions you and your spouse will be seeking to settle through mediation. 
  3. Have clear goals. If you enter into divorce mediation in New York without a clear idea of what you will consider success, the mediation will flounder.  Yet, be open to learn and explore other possibilities, resolutions and paths to success.  There are often many roads that will get you to “Oz”.  There may be a solution that you had not considered and the mediation process will reveal them to you for consideration.
  4. Choose your professional mediator carefully, and be certain both spouses agree on the choice. Take into consideration experience and specialty; a mediator who works extensively with divorce will have a better sense of the applicable laws and successful strategies.
  5. Consider the children. Mediation can be much less stressful and impactful on children, but only if the parents make the children’s interests their number one priority. Working together to make the process easier on the children will also make the rest of the work go more smoothly.

The success or failure of mediation is in your hands, as is your future.  Divorce is a temporary transition from where you are now, into your life that will be post-divorce.  Let a judge decide for you, or participate in a process that allows you and enables you to have a say in what that future will be.  You decide.   The choice is yours.  

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