Your Mediation Checklist: Identifying Priorities
What’s Important to You?
Having a mediation checklist can increase your chances of success. Divorce isn’t rocket science, but achieving a fair and reasonable outcome both spouses are happy with can be challenging. You may have several issues that need to be worked out in your divorce. It’s easy to lose sight of the big picture when you are being asked to decide on several issues at once. Building a mediation checklist before you meet with your mediator can help prepare you for success. Every mediation checklist will be different, but there are several common issues that factor into many divorces.
If you have minor children at home, you have some work to do. You will have to develop a solid parenting plan and a timesharing schedule with your spouse. You will also need to complete the Massachusetts child support worksheets to determine if child support will be ordered in your case. Add your top priorities for these issues to your checklist. For example, if you are concerned about how your child will adjust to having two households, jot down your concerns and be ready to discuss them in mediation. This is one of the hardest parts of divorce. Assets and debts need to be divided. Insurance needs to be arranged. Household budgets need to be developed.
Alimony may need to be planned. You may also need to figure out what you will do with the family home. Expect to spend a lot of time on these issues alone. To make the most of your time in mediation write down your priorities so you remember to address them. It can be easy to forget something simple like discussing how you will file your taxes when there are more immediate or pressing concerns on the table. Identify your financial concerns beforehand to make sure they get the attention they deserve in mediation.
Your children and your finances may monopolize your mediation time, but you may have other issues to discuss. You may need to divide your personal belongings. These may or may not be financial assets, but they are important regardless of their value. Items with personal meaning such as your child’s artwork or school projects may need to be divided. Other details like preferred childcare providers and emergency contacts should be discussed.
As you can see, there are many things you may need to decide on in mediation. Identify and list your priorities before you start to make the most of your time. Bring your mediation checklist to the table ready to work through it efficiently. The extra time you put into planning for mediation can greatly increase your chances of success.
Do you have questions about how to successfully mediate? If so, Mediation Advantage Services can help. Polly A. Tatum has the skills and experience needed to help you and your spouse prepare for a successful non-adversarial mediation. Based in historic Worcester with a satellite office in Northboro, MA, our firm serves all cities and towns throughout Massachusetts and Worcester County including, Auburn, Paxton, Leicester, Sutton, Grafton, Shrewsbury, Westboro, Northboro, Southboro, Holden, Sterling, Princeton, Worcester, Charlton, Millbury, Dudley, Spencer, Brookfield, Sudbury, Natick, Framingham, Hopkinton, Milford, Blackstone, Leominster, Fitchburg, Acton, Jefferson, Barre, Oakham, Cambridge, Newton, Marlboro, Lancaster, Bolton, and Hudson. Call our office at (508) 795-1557, fill out our online form, or email us at [email protected] today to schedule your Complimentary Mediation Success Planning Session. You can also sign up for our eNewsletter or download our free e-book for more information regarding divorce in Massachusetts.