Preparing for divorce mediation

It’s safe to say that couples entering into a divorce situation want to save as much money as possible. When San Francisco couples can settle matters through mediation rather than litigation, it would be best for everyone involved, including children. There are instances when issues can’t be ironed out and litigation is the most sensible way, but each individual would do well to seek independent legal advice for the pros and cons of all divorce options.

Collaboration vs. mediation

When couples are well off financially and have complex issues to sort through during their divorce, collaboration may be the route to take. Collaboration often involves a number of people who provide assistance, such as lawyers, financial planners and, in some cases, co-parenting counselors. Mediation, on the other hand, involves the couple working with a mediator who doesn’t take sides, to come to an agreement on issues like property, debt, co-parenting, support, etc.

What is owed and what is owned

Being prepared for mediation sessions is crucial. Everything that is jointly owned needs to be chronicled: banks accounts, vehicles, pension plans, artwork, antiques, the family home, etc. By the same token, a list of debts should be prepared: credit cards, loans, lines of credit, utility bills, mortgage or rent costs, and the like. Both individuals should also be prepared to show statements of income.

San Francisco couples who choose mediation may consult their own lawyers during the process. Legal coaching may actually help mediation sessions. Keeping an attorney in the loop is beneficial in the event a case must go to litigation.