Step 3: Evaluation-separate meetings to evaluate level of conflict and complexity
In our evaluation meeting, we are beginning the Mediation process and will determine the areas of conflict and complexity of the situation. We will be meeting with you and your spouse separately so that we may address different perspective and different emotional states. Typically in this stage each partner has time to build rapport with the Mediator. You will have time to share your feelings and have a voice about the marriage with the Mediator while we listen. The Mediator will be asking questions about debts, assets, relationships to the children, behavioral habits, levels of trust and if there is any intimidation. As the person initiating the divorce, you are likely in indifferent mode. The Mediator will coach you to try and not rush the process with your spouse as they are in a different emotional state than you. Additionally, you may want the divorce to go quickly, but we also want you to make good decisions that are right for you, your spouse and your children for the long term. Your Mediator will give you some insight on the emotions your spouse may be feeling during this process and how to speak and behave so that don’t come across as rude or callous. We are going to help you know what to say and when to say it so that your divorce can proceed and remain dignified. Your mediator will also share likely expectations on both sides and different possible outcomes of issues. At the end of this session, your Mediator will meet with both of you to give you an overview of the complexity level, discussing both red flags and areas of alignment. We will discuss the timeline for your mediation process as well as fee options. If the couple chooses to move forward at this point we will spend an additional half hour advising the couple on how to tell the children, if children are part of their situation.