When you decide you want to separate from your spouse, you will have to choose the divorce procedure that suits your situation. The two most common options for a contested divorce are a divorce trial and mediation. The first is a court process that needs a lot of formal evidence gathering and can be extremely draining. On the other hand, the mediation process still allows you to sit down with your ex-spouse in the presence of lawyers and find a middle ground for the contested issues. Here are the stages a divorce lawyer will guide you through when you choose the divorce mediation process.
Gathering Background Information
The negotiation process starts with the expert meeting with you and your former spouse. It takes the form of a discovery procedure where both of you offer background information about your marriage and the reasons leading to the split. The lawyer then explains the mediation process and explains the path that would quickly resolve the problem. After the basics, they will request information about all your assets. They take you through the state laws on separation, child custody, property sharing, and spousal support. They will need documents like bank and tax statements to determine where each partner stands financially.
Framing the Goals and Values
This is the main part of the negotiation process. It involves the lawyer probing and discovering the motives behind your drive for certain outcomes. They will sit with you and listen to your values, concerns, and goals that have led to you wanting a specific outcome. Most of the time, the lawyer will insist on conducting the framing when your partner is in the room. It gives the other partner an opportunity to understand the benefits of being open about your goals. It also creates a foundation for the other spouse's framing session.
Holding the Consultations
The negotiation stage is where the negotiator lays all the framed interests on the table. The professional then guides you through a negotiation process where you arrive at a compromise. Most lawyers use a problem-solving approach in this stage because it brings about the most constructive outcomes.
Concluding the Mediation
The lawyer will bring the tentative settlement to you and your spouse. You can study it carefully and review it with an independent advisor. The mediator will then create a memorandum for you to sign.
The lawyer also creates the written agreement statement after concluding the negotiation process. Once they file the document in court, your negotiation process ends.