Start by being prepared for your divorce mediation. What does that mean? Think of your upcoming divorce mediation as if it were a negotiation. In order to get the best outcomes, be thorough in your planning and preparation.
If you have struggled with negotiating with your spouse in the past, you may even want to consider hiring a negotiation coach to give yourself an opportunity to role-play critical parts of your negotiation. If you need additional help through this process, a divorce coach is also a wonderful resource for your support team.
If you own a home together and have not decided what to do with it, put together two or three proposals and the details that go with each. Common ideas include selling the house, having one partner buy out the other, or having one partner move out while the other one remains in the home indefinitely. This last option comes with a host of built-in challenges and may not be the easiest to contend with financially. Make sure you understand the numbers that go with each proposal and be sure to research challenges that may come with each option.
Divorce mediations are a perfect process to use to craft your co-parenting plan together. Instead of arguing over how much time each parent will get custody, it is a much more peaceful process to simply create a parenting plan together. This plan would include what days the kids are with each parent, what time the drop-offs and pickups are, who drops off and who picks up, how to handle holidays, weekends, birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and summer vacations.
MAINTENANCE (AKA Spousal Support)
If you are asking for spousal support, make sure that you look deeply into your income and expenses. You also want to do as much research as you can about your spouse’s income and assets. Eventually, through the divorce process, everyone will have to disclose their financial documents. The sooner you have access to all the financial information, the better equipped you are to know how much you can ask for. If you feel you will not get all the spousal support you desire, begin thinking of other bargaining chips you can offer to sweeten the pot for the other side.
Instead of thinking of child support as a point of contention, try to think of it as a collaboration. Come up with a budget of the child(ren)’s expenses. This can include clothing, school supplies, sports fees, fees for outside activities or lessons, health insurance, birthday gifts for friends, birthday party expenses, video games purchases, etc., Once you put together a comprehensive list of all child-related expenses, you can begin to understand what will be required as parents. The next step is to add your incomes together. Use this number to determine what percentage each parent makes of the combined amount. This determines what percentage each parent should pay of the children’s budget.
ADDITIONAL DIVORCE ASSETS AND DEBTS
Make a list of all additional assets and debts. Determine which ones you own separately or together. Think about how you would like to divide these up as well as what you might be able to use as a bargaining chip to get what you want during the divorce mediation.
Negotiate a divorce the right way. Just remember that preparation is the key to a successful negotiation. Whether you choose to negotiate on your own or hire a divorce mediator to help you through the negotiations peacefully, you will have a better outcome if you prepare for what you want ahead of time.
This blog was written by Alice Shikina who is a negotiation coach and mediator. You can find her website here: https://www.shikinamediation.com/negotiation-coaching/
If you’re struggling with divorce and finding it difficult to move on, book a free discovery call with me using the link below. We can have a no-obligation chat about how I could support you through your divorce so that you can start moving on with your life and feel happier and stronger than ever before!