How to Prepare for Your First Mediation Appointment

May 10, 2023
By Alternative Divorce Solutions

If you are about to begin divorce mediation, we recommend running through our checklist to make sure you are prepared. Knowing what to bring and what topics will be discussed during your session ahead of time will allow you to prepare and help move the process along more smoothly. The better prepared each spouse is, the easier it will be to focus on key matters and reach a settlement.

Emotionally Preparing for Mediation

It’s no secret that emotions run high during a divorce. Keeping your emotions in check and remaining focused on reaching a settlement that works best for you will make the process much easier. Keep in mind that this is not a time for insults, cruelty, or rudeness. Rather, mediation is a time for negotiating. Remaining calm, cool, collected, and open-minded will improve your ability to negotiate and reach a positive conclusion.

Things You Need to Bring

Failing to bring the proper information and documentation to your mediation session can slow the process down and make things more difficult for you.

Before your appointment, take the time to gather the following things:

  • Your calendar: A calendar can help you keep a record of future mediation sessions, visitation schedules, etc.
  • A list of high-value assets: A comprehensive list of high-value assets such as jewelry, furniture, appliances, collectibles, etc. can facilitate discussions about property division.
  • All financial information: Bank statements, loan documents, pay stubs, checking and savings account information, stocks, bonds, major debts, and any other important financial documents or information should be with you during mediation.
  • A list of your wishes: Bringing a list of your wishes as well as facts to back up your reasoning can help you make a stronger case.
  • Property valuations: Valuations for your homes, cars, and boats can facilitate division discussions.
  • Retirement information: You should bring IRAs, 401(k), pensions, deferred compensation plans, and all other retirement documentation.
  • Court documents: If any documents have been filed with or required by the court, bring them.
  • Tax documents: Bring W-2 statements, 1099s, tax returns, and any other important tax documents.
  • An attorney: To ensure your rights and best interests are protected during mediation, you may hire an attorney to represent you. This is not mandatory, but it can be immensely helpful.

Things You Need to Be Prepared to Discuss

During your divorce mediation sessions, you will be discussing a number of sensitive topics. We recommend preparing notes for your wishes regarding each of these topics as it is easy to forget such things during negotiations.

Be prepared to discuss:

  • Child custody and visitation
  • Child support
  • Alimony
  • Property division
  • Debt allocation
  • Retirement account division
  • Insurance coverage

Call Alternative Divorce Solutions Today!

During mediation, having a lawyer who understands the laws and can make sure your rights are protected is crucial. Turn to Alternative Divorce Solutions to learn more about how our divorce mediation attorneys can help you stay in control of your divorce.

Call Alternative Divorce Solutions at 949-368-2121 to request your free consultation!


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