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Going before a Maryland divorce court judge is not the only way to resolve disputes over property division, alimony, and custody, visitation, and support for minor children. When divorcing spouses cannot reach agreement in these areas, mediation is a process that can often get them closer together. Through productive conversations facilitated by a trained professional, you may be able to work out your differences without a contested hearing. The Maryland Courts website provides a useful overview of the proceedings and answers to frequently asked questions about divorce mediation, so you have an idea about what to expect.
However, preparation is also key when it comes to any divorce-related legal proceedings. You gain an advantage when you understand how mediation works and the topics you will be addressing. Your Maryland divorce mediation attorney will advise you on the specifics, but a few tips will get you ready for the process.
- Avoid a Win-Lose Mentality: The goal of mediation is to solve problems, work to achieve common goals, and diffuse disputes. Taking the approach that you need to win and/or defeat your soon-to-be-ex will not lead to a productive process. Instead, prepare for mediation by recognizing where you are willing to compromise. Your lawyer will make sure to use these points as leverage in negotiations.
- Focus on the Topics at Hand: It is encouraging when you already reached an agreement with some aspects of divorce, but do not allow these issues to disrupt the mediation process – which centers on the areas where you disagree. In addition, make sure your focus does not stray into emotion. Mediation may be less formal than a court hearing, but it will only be successful when you keep a level head.
- Clearly Communicate Your Goals: You will be working closely with your attorney about the proceedings, but both parties will also interact with the mediator and each other during mediation. The process usually starts as a group session, in which the mediator discusses the issues in dispute; these matters will be detailed in the brief you provide in advance. The parties will then participate in breakout sessions with the mediator. Throughout the proceedings, concentrate on the words you use to express your goals and vision for resolving them. Communicating them in clear terms makes mediation more efficient and effective.
- Gather Essential Documents: Your attorney will inform you whether you need to bring paperwork or other items to the mediation, such as bank statements, expenses, and other financial information. Take time to collect and review documents, so that you are familiar and can point out any details that are relevant for mediation.
Count on Your Baltimore County, MD Divorce Lawyer for Details
Mediation plays an important role in the Maryland divorce process, and there are numerous benefits for resolving disputes through this route. To ensure you take full advantage of them, it is essential to work with an experienced attorney. William F. Mulroney is ready to advocate on your behalf, so please call 443.352.8433 or visit our website to set up a consultation today.