Divorce is part of life. According to Statistics Canada, 42,933 couples got divorced nationwide in 2020. While it is never easy, a divorce does not have to become a nasty dispute. Indeed, most people desire a low-conflict divorce. Mediation offers a potential solution. As defined by the Government of Ontario, mediation is an alternative to going to court that involves “negotiation between two individuals, with someone’s help.” In this article, our Ottawa divorce lawyers offer five tips to help you prepare for the mediation process.
1. Be Ready to Get Into a Collaborative Frame of Mind
The primary goal of divorce mediation is a low-conflict settlement agreement. To be maximally effective, divorce mediation requires both parties to be open to finding a mutually beneficial solution. It is imperative that both spouses enter the process with a collaborative mindset. Among other things, this means being willing to listen to the other perspective. A collaborative approach can help to create a more positive and productive environment for the mediation process.
2. Thoroughly Organize Relevant Information—Especially Financial Records
In order to have a successful mediation, you and your spouse should have all relevant information readily available, including financial records, such as bank statements, tax returns, and any other documents that pertain to your assets and liabilities. Organizing these documents beforehand will save time during the mediation process and ensure that key information is taken into account.
3. Focus On the Future—Setting Up Yourself and Your Family for Tomorrow
The end goal of the mediation process is to reach an agreement that sets you and your family up for the future. Instead of focusing on the past, it is generally best to look towards the future and think about what will be best for you and, if applicable, your children. Focusing on the future can include everything from determining child parenting arrangements to reaching a property settlement to ensuring that both parties have the financial resources to move on after the divorce.
4. Know Where You are Willing to Compromise (and Where You Aren’t)
Be aware of your own priorities and what issues you are willing to compromise on. By doing so, you will be in the best position to streamline the mediation process and prevent unnecessary disagreements. However, it is also important to know your limits and where you are not willing to compromise. Make sure you are ready to advocate for yourself on the issues that matter most.
5. Seek Professional Help From a Divorce Lawyer in Ottawa
While divorce mediation is a less formal process than divorce litigation, it’s still important to seek professional help from a divorce lawyer in Ottawa. A divorce lawyer can provide guidance and support throughout the mediation process and can help to ensure that your rights are protected.
Schedule a Fully Confidential Consultation With an Ottawa Divorce Lawyer Today
At RPB Family Law, our Ottawa divorce lawyers provide personalized, attentive, and reliable legal guidance and support. If you have any questions about the divorce mediation process, we can help. Contact us today to arrange your strictly confidential, no obligation consultation. From our Ottawa law office, we provide divorce representation throughout the surrounding communities in Ontario.