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Preparing for divorce mediation

Many New Mexico couples who are contemplating a divorce often consider going through a mediation process but are unsure what to expect. There are some tips that people can keep in mind to help them prepare for and contribute to the success of their first sessions.

It is important for a couple to have as much financial documentation as possible. Having the information organized and easily accessible can help reduce confusion in a divorce mediation session. This would include a post-divorce budget to allow people to understand what they will realistically need to live on or what they will be able to afford to pay.

Couples should also try to have their emotions under control before the sessions. Divorce is a stressful time, but individuals should attempt to set aside their anger so they can cooperate during the mediation session instead of argue. They need to be prepared to come to compromise and to negotiate. It is also okay to ask to speak with the mediator alone, and nothing said will be repeated to the other spouse. Most mediators understand that not everything can be discussed with both spouses in the room, and private discussions can often help the process.

A person who is contemplating the termination of a marriage may wish to speak to an attorney who has experience in divorce and family law. The attorney may be able to help determine whether mediation would be helpful or appropriate in a particular situation. If a decision is made to forego mediation, the attorney may be able to advise the client on matters including property division and spousal support.

Source: Huffington Post, "How to Prepare for Your First Mediation Session -- Your Eight Steps Plan", Michelle Rozen, October 17, 2013

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