When you go through a divorce, having to deal with your ex may be one of the last things that you want to do. In many cases, taking a deep breath and going through the mediation process might help you to get the case resolved a bit faster so that the divorce isn't dragging out.
There are many different things that you will need to consider when you are thinking about the mediation process. Two aspects are often the most difficult to sort out. These are the child custody matters and the property division process. Here are some important points to think about in both areas:
In the child custody mediation process, you and your ex have to come up with a parenting plan that is in your child's best interests. This might be a complex undertaking, especially if you don't have the same views on parenting as your ex.
You will need to determine when the children will be with each parent. Many parents these days share custody instead of using the old model of the father only having the child for a few days each month. When you are thinking about the schedule, consider your work hours and when the child can have quality time with each parent. Having a flexible visitation schedule may be beneficial for you and the child since the schedule can be customized to meet current needs.
Another thing to think about is who will make the decisions for the child. You can share this responsibility with the other parent or one parent can be responsible for specific areas and the other parent for other aspects. Outline these duties carefully in the custody agreement.
Property division comes down to figuring out what makes an equitable split of the assets and debts. It is often a good idea to start with the higher value assets. Once you get those split, you can use the smaller assets and debts to balance things out.
As you are trying to figure out what you need to do about assets and debts, be realistic with yourself. You will have to survive on your income alone, so make sure that you are able to afford any assets that you have before you start to fight for things.
It is best if you and your ex can come to all of the decisions necessary in both of these areas. You might be able to avoid a costly and lengthy court battle if you can do this.