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Divorce mediation must be carefully prepared

The thought of working with your ex when you are divorcing may feel odious. There is one good reason why you should consider making a last effort to deal with him or her -- divorce mediation.

When you are working through ending your marriage, you will have to either work with your ex through mediation or battle things out before the court. Both of these options have benefits and drawbacks. Two of the biggest benefits to mediation are that you can usually get the divorce over with faster and with less expense than what is possible if you go through a trial.

Prepare for the mediation

Before the mediation session, make sure that you get your affairs in order. Grab copies of the financial accounts so that you have them when you meet with your ex. Try to make sure that you have the most up-to-date documents. If you have assets that need to be valuated, you should have that done before the mediation so that you are basing your decisions on accurate information.

Another thing that you can do before mediation is decide what is worth fighting for. You aren't going to be able to keep everything that you gained during the marriage so go through everything that is part of the divorce. Make yourself lists of the pros and cons of keeping and getting rid of each asset. Try not to base your decisions on the emotional tie to the items. Instead, think about how they might impact your future.

Keep your cool during the process

Mediation can go one of two ways. Either you and ex will remain cordial and work things out amicably or there will be a fight over everything. If you think that your ex is going to try to make you upset, you need to be prepared for that possibility. Remember that you can't control your ex, but you can control yourself. When things do get heated, you can always ask the mediator to speak with him or her alone about the matters.

Know when to walk away

There are times when the mediation isn't going to work. You have to know when it is time to walk away from the mediation and focus on preparing for a trial. At a trial, you and your ex will each present a case to the court and a decision will be made. This is often the course that a divorce will have to take if the mediation proceedings come to a grinding halt or never get moving forward in the first place. You should remember that you don't have any control over what happens when the court is making the decisions in a divorce trial.

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