Considering mediation to settle the disputes keeping your divorce from moving forward? It’s extremely important to spend as much time as is necessary to prepare for mediation to have the best chance of coming to a mutual agreement. Specifically, gathering and organizing the documents you’ll need to present during the session and preparing yourself emotionally is key. It is important to know these 4 Things to Bring to Divorce Mediation in Wisconsin.
The success or failure of mediation often hinges in part on both parties’ degree of preparation. Good preparation establishes the best setting for mediation to take place and helps both parties reach amicable solutions to issues without ever having to step into a stressful courtroom.
To help you create the best setting for your mediation, we’ve created a simple guide to serve as a checklist, ensuring you arrive to mediation with everything you need to work toward a fair result.
1. Documents that provide useful background information to the mediator
It’s important to stress that divorce mediation in Wisconsin is basically a negotiation between you and your spouse (with the help of attorneys if you choose to draw on their legal expertise). The mediator is there to help keep discussion on track and focused on what matters most to both of you.
With this in mind, it’s best to give the mediator all the background information available well before the beginning of the initial session so he or she can clearly understand the details of the situation and help move things forward effectively.
Be sure to gather, copy, and organize the following documents if they’re relevant for your case:
- Tax returns
- Payroll stubs
- Your most recent Social Security Statement
- Monthly budget income and expenses list or spreadsheet
- Savings Account Statements
- Wills & Trusts
- Credit card statements
- Loan documents
- Life insurance policies & premium statement
- Pension plan documentation
Putting relevant background information in the mediator’s hands reduces the time it takes to explain the case’s history and helps both of you focus on moving toward an agreement.
2. A proposal for agreement
The process typically moves much faster when both parties are able to provide a basic outline of an agreement with background information already filled in to help the mediator concentrate on what matters most.
While you won’t have all the information available, having things like prior court dates filled out ahead of time can speed up the drafting of an actual agreement.
3. A written list of concerns
Don’t rely on your memory to make sure everything you want covered during mediation is actually discussed.
Take the time to make a detailed list of everything you feel is important. Whether it’s a detail about child visitation rights or what could be an easily overlooked financial issue you want settled, make sure no rock is left unturned before an agreement is signed.
4. A patient, civil and controlled attitude
In addition to bringing the necessary documents and information with you, it’s also crucial to remember that the whole point of mediation is to address issues and settle disputes amicably.
Mediation can last for several hours and involves waiting for the mediator and other party to work discuss issues in private. Anxiety, annoyance, anger and frustration can lead to rash decisions and slow the process down––perhaps even bringing it to a complete stop altogether.
Do your best to be well-rested, well-fed and emotionally ready to think clearly during what could be a stressful process. Preparedness is key to making mediation work.
If you’re in need of mediation assistance or have specific questions about Wisconsin’s mediation process, or are in need of an experienced Beloit Family Law Attorney, click here for a free consultation with the Fitzgerald law Firm.
At The Fitzgerald Law Firm your initial consultation is always free and you will always meet directly with one of our attorneys. We understand that appointments during traditional working hours may not be convenient for all, and thus we strive to be available for evening, weekend, and off-site appointments. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.
Photo credit: Victoria Pickering