Many people will agree that mediation is one of the fastest ways of getting divorced if you can stand talking with your partner. However, the process can also drag on for a long time if you aren't prepared for it. Here are some measures to take to prevent your mediated divorce from unnecessarily long delays.
Keep it Friendly
Mediation can only succeed if both of you show respect to each other. You realize that this can be difficult given the number of contentious issues that arise during divorce, but it is in your best interest to do so. This doesn't mean that you should agree on everything, make sure you just listen and counter the arguments respectfully.
Tread Lightly on the Settlement Issue
Settlement issues can get out of hand if you aren't careful. Therefore, you shouldn't make this the most important part of the discussion, especially if you don't have a good knowledge of the laws governing divorce settlement in your state. In fact, it is better if your mediator discuss all the legal settlement issues with you before the mediation proper begins. That way it doesn't become a sticking point during the negotiations.
Bring all the Necessary Documentation
Some documents are needed during the mediation process. Examples include previous year tax returns, last three pay stubs, a list of all your major assets (houses, boats, jewelries and others), statements from liability accounts (such as credit card) and others. Your mediator will probably furnish you with an exhaustive list to provide. It is important to provide all the documents in the list as early as possible so that the mediation doesn't hit a snag because of missing papers.
Prioritize Your Demands
Before the mediation process begins, it is a good idea to list everything that you wish to discuss during the process. Include everything that comes to your mind, even if it seems trivial. Next, prioritize these lists to begin with the most important ones. Your aim is to get these essential things covered and done with instead of getting stuck on a nonessential demand that you can easily let go of. For example, it would be disastrous to let the issue of who gets to keep the camper van keep you from discussing child custody because the latter is obviously more important.
If you are using a divorce lawyer (such as one from Harold Salant Strassfield & Spielberg) as your mediator, then he or she should have adequate experience in the mediation process. Such a knowledgeable professional will also go a long way in hastening your divorce.