Mediation is fast approaching. What do I need to take with me to a divorce mediation?
It is good to be prepared – even better to be over-prepared than to be unready. Also note that when you have an attorney with you, there is more ease. An attorney-mediator is a trained professional who can explain your rights to you. Although it is not necessary to have an attorney present at a mediation, it is to your advantage – especially if your current spouse already retained an attorney.
As a refresher, Mediation is faster, friendlier, more affordable, and confidential. This is a safe way for families to resolve their issues without putting the court and legal system in their family businesses. Granted in some instances, a judge needs to be involved; for example, if family violence or dating violence is involved, you may need a protective order.
Consult with one of our mediators if you are unsure whether mediation will work for you.
Another benefit of mediation is that you and your spouse will have more control over the outcome. Some families have more assets than others, Additionally, you may have younger children; therefore, custody is another issue that you will need to address in mediation.
Divorce Mediation Checklist.
A mediator can assist you better with compromising and negotiation when you have gathered sufficient documents in advance. These documents are like your ammunition. An attorney-mediator can better guide you (through legal counseling) on your rights and what you are entitled to. A mediator is a neutral party, and he or she cannot give legal advice. However, when you have your documents ready and thorough, he or she can help you negotiate with your spouse in good faith.
Here is a list of non-exclusive list of documents to take with you to mediation.
- Current savings and Checking account(s), including Joint & Separate accounts
- Tax Returns (Federal & State)
- W-2’s and/or 1099’s
- Pay Stubs
- Partnerships & Other Business (Ownership) Interests Valuation
- Real Estate Property Valuation (Houses)
- Pensions & Retirement Accounts
- Money Market and CD Accounts
- Non-Retirement Investments such as Stocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds etc
- Executive Compensation – Stock Options
- Boats Valuation
- Expensive jewelries
- Annuities, IRAs, Deferred Compensation
- Life Insurance (Whole Life Policies)
- Collections: Coins, Miniature motors, Action figures/dolls, and Art
- Accounts Receivable & Unsecured Notes
- Real Estate Loans
- Educational loans
- Credit Cards
- Other Loans/Debts
- Homeowner insurance policy information
- Auto insurance information
- Health insurance information
- Other properties of value and/or properties of significance acquired during marriage
Although this list is not exclusive, it will guide you in becoming well equipped for your next divorce mediation or collaborative mediation. Additionally, this list does not replace the sound advice or a competent attorney. Each case is different because the marriage and individuals involved are different.
Do I Need Everything in the Mediation Checklist?
The facts of your case may be different, including your assets. Therefore, try to take as many documents as you can. If CPS was involved at some point and evaluated your home, especially when it is against one of the parents, take this information with you.
Give us a call and one of our mediators or attorney-mediator can better assist you. (832) 529-1255.