How to Prepare for Mediation: Divorce Mediation Checklist

In my online course, "How to Prepare for Divorce," I go in-depth on how to prepare for divorce and mediation, specifically, if that's the process you choose to use. At a high level, here is a brief divorce mediation checklist to help you prepare for your first appointment.

Divorce Mediation Checklist: Questions for the Mediator

Make a list of questions that you have for the mediator. Before agreeing to use the mediator, both you and your spouse should have an opportunity to speak with him/her. You'll want to ask about:

  • Mediator's experience
  • Cost of mediation/fees
  • Availability for meetings
  • Experience mediating the specific issues that will be dealt with in your divorce

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Divorce Mediation Checklist: List Your Concerns

Make a list of all of your concerns. You may not address them in your first appointment but it's important to start writing them down. To keep yourself organized, try to cluster your concerns about a specific topic. For example, make a list of all of the concerns you have that are about your shared parenting agreement separately from concerns you have about dividing retirement accounts. To get you thinking, here are some topics to consider:

Divorce Mediation Checklist: Financial Documents

Collect and organize all of your financial documents. Bring them with you to each appointment. Below is a list of documents to get you started (some may not apply):

  • Financial affidavits (if already completed)
  • Monthly/annual budget for each party
  • Tax returns with all supporting W-2s
  • Investment account statements
  • Bank account statements
  • Retirement account statements
  • Recent statement on Employee Stock Options, Employee Stock Purchase Plan and/or Restricted Stock accounts
  • Mortgage statement
  • Paystubs
  • Credit card statements
  • Recent statements for any outstanding loans
  • Policy statements for Life Insurance and/or Annuities
  • Social security estimate statements (available at www.ssa.gov)
  • Full P&L for current and prior year for any businesses owned
  • Insurance policies for all automobiles (write in current mileage for each vehicle)

For more information about how to prepare for divorce and to learn to negotiate with confidence, contact us.

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