On behalf of the firm
For the couple who has made the choice to end their marriage through mediation instead of litigation in court, they may wonder, “What should we do to prepare for our first mediation session?”
At the first session, copies of all financial documents will need to be brought in. This should include copies of all your assets, which include bank and savings accounts, mutual funds, retirement funds, real estate, vehicles, businesses and any other assets you may have.
All debts will need to be listed, as well. The balances and monthly payments on your mortgage, vehicles, credit cards, student loans and any private loans need to be listed. Your mediator may require the original documents on these assets and debts.
Before your first session, think about what you want to accomplish through mediation. What are your wants and what issues or problems do you want resolved through mediation? By being proactive and listing your concerns and wants before the session, no time will be wasted figuring out what you want and what your concerns might be.
You will need to have a budget planned for your future expenses as an unmarried person. Your budget should list housing, household expenses, car expenses, children’s expenses, health insurance and co-pays, and miscellaneous expenses.
One important step in a successful mediation session is for both parties to keep their emotions under control. When a marriage ends, emotions run high, hurtful words are said, and feelings can be hurt. Mediation is not the time for getting back at your spouse, it is a time for negotiation. The mediation process will be more productive when both spouses keep their emotions in check and work together in a respectful manner with their mediator towards a mutually acceptable outcome that fits both spouse’s needs.