Making the most of mediation sessions

For Utah couples, the end of a marriage means going through divorce proceedings. Taking the process to court for litigation means unnecessary court fees and an often long trial. Couples can usually go through divorce mediation to either shorten the litigation or avoid it altogether. In fact, Utah law requires all couples to go through mediation before ever stepping foot in a courtroom. You need to be prepared for these sessions with your soon-to-be ex-spouse so they will be as productive as possible.

First, come prepared. You should have every important financial document, and anything else you may need to negotiate, with you. This can include income statements, retirement fund documents and proof of any other property either owned solely by you or by you and your spouse jointly. This also includes any debts you may have incurred together. 

When you get to the mediation session, chances are you will still harbor some anger toward your spouse. It is vital you remain level-headed throughout the process. You are there to negotiate with each other, not argue. The better you keep your emotions in check, the easier the mediation process will likely be. One way to do this is to write down your demands and concerns and stick to this list; this could be useful to keep emotions shut out.

Finally, understand you have people you can talk to. If you need to, you can speak to the mediator alone. Let them know your concerns and sticking points to look out for; this can help the mediator keep the conversation moving forward. It is also important to have an attorney experienced in non-adversarial mediation techniques to make sure you are getting what you deserve out of the divorce. 

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