How to Prepare for a Denver Divorce Mediation Session

Uncontested Divorce Mediation

Posted April 21, 2021

Preparing for divorce can be a challenge that mediation simplifies. By working with a Denver divorce mediator, you can offload most of the aspects of divorce that are difficult to manage or understand. Your divorce mediator can help you hash out the finances to fairly and simply split assets. They can help you work out a functional child custody and joint parenting plan. Your divorce mediator can even referee a few passionate disagreements to help find the right compromise solution.

Of course, signing up for Denver divorce mediation is not quite the same as going through the sessions. It’s perfectly normal to be a little anxious before your first mediation session. Many people find themselves wondering what to expect. This article will help you prepare mentally and logically for your first divorce mediation meeting. Whether you’re focused on having all your paperwork or are experiencing before-session nerves, we fully understand and are here to help in the best way we can: With information.

What to Expect from the Mediation Session

uncontested divorce mediation

Divorce mediation is a predictable process that you can absolutely prepare for. You can expect to share a room or a video call with your mediator and your spouse. The three of you will sit down together to hash out the terms of your divorce. You will share your viewpoint and priorities, then your spouse will share theirs (or vice versa). The mediator will listen and propose ideas that the two of you can decide to agree with or debate.

Usually, it takes less than one session to get everyone on the same page and ready to run down a list of assets, property, finances, and family decisions. You will then take one to three sessions (on average) to resolve the facts of your divorce. Finally, your mediator will draft and submit our divorce documents.

You can expect a calm, meeting-like environment where respect and decision efficiency are the top priorities.

How to Prepare for a Divorce Mediation Session

During the day or week leading up to your first Denver divorce mediation session, it’s important to know what you’re preparing for. A few smart steps now can really improve your efficiency during mediation sessions. Other things you can do will help prepare yourself mentally to negotiate with a focus and clear-mindedness.

Let’s dive into the eight smart steps to take to prepare for your first divorce mediation session.

1) Write Down Your Goals

When approaching any negotiation, it always helps to write down your goals. What do you want to get from this mediation and from the divorce terms? Write down both your personal goals, like keeping a cool head during the mediation, and your specific goals like keeping the dresser you personally refinished. Write down your financial goals and your child custody goals. Make a list of the assets you want to keep – and a list of the assets you don’t really care about. 

Organize your list into top priorities on down and keep this list with you when you go into the Denver divorce mediation session. This will help you ensure that you cover everything that is important to you and will help you avoid rabbit-trail arguments over things that matter less.

2) Prepare Your Talking Points

If there are specific points you want to make during the mediation, write these down as well. You may have a few ideas about child custody and parenting plans that you want to share. Or you may have some insight on the best way to split – or not split – your respective retirement accounts. 

This is also a good time to write down the things you won’t say, even though you may really want to say them. Write out all the emotional statements you’d like to make in victorious declarations and then remember not to give into this temptation during the session. By pre-expressing your emotions, you can own and control your own reactions even if you feel emotional during Denver divorce mediation.

3) Assemble Your Documents and Finances

Most of you are eager to get your paperwork ready so that you can check and double-check that everything is there before the session. Having your paperwork can streamline the logistical part of reaching an agreement. Be sure to gather

  • Proof of employment and income
  • Copy of marriage certificate
  • Copy of prenup or any other mutual contracts
  • Organized list of household and personal assets
  • Records of Accounts and Retirement Funds
  • Organized list of shared and personal debts
  • Any previous court filings that relate to your marriage
  • Copy of children’s school and lessons schedule
  • Any other helpful documentation

4) Establish Common Ground with Your Spouse

Before the mediation, do a little pre-negotiating with your spouse. The more you agree on when working with the mediation, the more time you can dedicate to hashing out a productive divorce agreement instead of arguing over what the terms should be. We know you may not agree on everything and may even have some serious disagreements, but it’s helpful to know where you stand.

So find common ground with your spouse. Talk about how each of you will approach the mediation and try to identify a few things you agree on. Start small if agreements are hard to achieve – like agreeing that you want to keep the finances simple or minimize impact on the kids. Starting from even a small point of common ground can make the whole process easier.

If your spouse is determined to disagree, ask them to explain. You’ll go in knowing what to expect and where you need the mediator to help find a compromise

5) Confirm the Session Schedule

Before any Denver divorce mediation session, be sure to confirm the appointment. If you have not yet locked down an appointment time, now is the time to do just that. If you have an upcoming appointment, confirm the dates online or call in to confirm that you, your spouse, and the mediator are all available at the right time.

6) Coordinate Over the Phone

Before a mediation session, your divorce mediator is likely to reach out on the phone, first. Often, a divorce mediator will speak first to one spouse, then call the other spouse to make sure they’re in, then call both spouses to arrange a session date that works for everyone. If you haven’t been through the phone coordination phase, then make sure that happens before you expect your session to begin. This phase is essential to confirm you and your spouse are ready and available.

7) Clear Your Head and Get Squared Away

Never go into a mediation angry or ‘ready to fight’. That’s not what Denver divorce mediation is all about. Instead, you want to enter mediation with inner peace. If you don’t find inner peace easy to achieve (who does?) then we have a few pointers.

Take a long shower and focus on clearing your mind of emotion and worries. Find a central, anchored feeling inside yourself  and let yourself relax. If you meditate, find a quiet place to sit indoors or in your garden and use a little mindfulness to release your emotional stress about divorcing.

When you feel calm and clear-headed, dress for success. Get yourself looking and feeling right, which will boost your confidence to share your points and argue for your goals. 

8) Arrive Ready to Make Progress

Whether your session is virtual or in-person, arrive with a forward-thinking attitude. Be prepared to achieve some progress with your mediator and hash out some real terms for your divorce. Be ready to compromise and to flex your expectations without feeling like a lesser person. In fact, being ready to offer compromises can make you the bigger person in an argument about divorce terms.

Be ready to listen to you divorce mediator and try to take their advice. Listen to the information they share about divorce law and financial choices. Be open to options that could potentially improve the future lives of you and/or your spouse. When you’re ready to make progress, you will approach the mediation table earnestly and able to get the most from the service.

Contact a Divorce Mediation Expert in Denver Today

Here at Split Simple, we provide Denver divorce mediation services to spouses located in Denver. Whether you need someone to help sort your DIY documents or to help settle the differences between your priorities and your spouses’, we’re here to make it happen. Contact Split Simple today to consult on a fast and cost-effictive way to file a mutually supportive divorce in Denver.

Split Simple

1624 Market Street #202

Denver, CO 80202