With the divorce rate in America still hovering around 40 to 50%, many may think it is just a part of life. However, no matter how common divorce may be in society, it can still be traumatic and difficult. To minimize the trauma, many Michigan couples attempt to end their marriages with as little strife as possible by choosing mediation instead of litigation.

Mediation involves both spouses coming together to negotiate the terms of their divorce issues with the guidance of a trained and neutral third party. Unlike a judge in a courtroom, a mediator makes no decisions but instead assists the couple in working through conflicts and reaching agreements that will work for both of them. Mediation is not something a spouse can walk into without some preparation, however, so it is important for each spouse to have individual legal counsel to help them get ready.

Part of the preparation includes creating an inventory of every asset, both joint and separate, as well as the debts they share. A spouse should also be ready to disclose every source of income and have a good idea of the other partner’s income. In addition to making these lists, a spouse preparing for divorce through mediation will want to list his or her priorities and goals, those items for which there is no compromise, and those that are negotiable.

Coming to mediation well-prepared for intense discussion may save time and bring about a reasonable resolution more efficiently. Each spouse will want the assistance of a separate Michigan attorney who is experienced in the divorce mediation process. In this way, they can negotiate with the confidence that their rights and best interests are protected.