Getting divorced can feel overwhelming. In divorce mediation, at Westfield Mediation, LLC, we break the process down into small steps for our clients. That makes it more manageable and less stressful. While no prior preparation is needed to start the process, there are some basic questions you can ask yourself before going down this path, so that you feel more ready and in control.
First, if you have children, consider what would be the best plan for the kids. The standard for any parenting plan is "the best interest of the children", so that mantra should guide your thinking. You can ask yourself, would the kids do best if the parents shared parenting time 50/50 or would they thrive with a different plan that took into account the parents' work schedules? Do you need to stay in town or a certain part of town, so that they can continue at their schools? Or do you have a better network of family and friend support in a different location? You should try to keep your children's lives as normal as possible during this process by limiting any conflict in your home. Most children can adjust to a new routine, as long as you provide consistency and support throughout the transition.
When you consider the financial part of the situation, you need to know how much money each of you earns now, as well as your earning potential, especially if one of you is currently working part-time or not at all because of family responsibilities. It is also useful to think about what assets and debts you have acquired over the marriage, and how much you spend on a monthly basis for housing and other basic expenses as well as the extras. Each of these factors will provide the basis for your financial plan going forward.
In divorce mediation, we guide our clients through the process to reach an agreement that works for their particular family. We help them ask and answer the questions that will get them to the right place for them.