In order to get the most out of the mediation process and better utilize your time and money, you should be well prepared for the mediation session. Since the mediator's role is to remain neutral and impartial, he/she knows very little about your case prior to the session. The mediator comes to the session with basic information on the parties and an idea of what issues may be in dispute (i.e., custody, visitation, property division, etc.). The mediator relies upon the parties to supply the information necessary for an educated discussion of the issues. For example, if the parties want to decide what happens to the marital home, in order to discuss possible solutions, the mediator and parties must know its current value, what is owed on it, etc. The mediator cannot work without this information. If you do not have it, the mediator may stop the session and reschedule when the information is available.
The best way to prepare for mediation is to gather all the papers that are important to the dispute. In domestic actions (divorce, modifications, contempts, legitimation), depending upon what issues are to be discussed, you should bring the following:
|Bring the following items:
|Equitable Division of Property:
|SWORN FINANCIAL AFFIDAVITS OF BOTH PARTIES ARE REQUIRED.
|Description and location of the property. Something to show value of property (tax bill, appraisal, Realtor's statement). Statements showing original mortgage amount, as well as current balance, payment, and interest rate. Any information about second mortgages or home equity loans.
|Detailed list of all property to be divided and value of each item. (Include all household items)
|Description and current value of item. Include loan information or lease information.
|Checking/Savings Accounts; Investments
|Description of the plan type and amount (i.e. pension plan, profit sharing plan, 401K plan, employee's stock ownership plan (ESOP), government plan, etc.). Bring a Summary Plan Description - available through Administrator.
|Description of types, policy numbers and amounts of all policies.
|Statements of all debt including credit cards, store accounts, vehicle payments, personal debt and any other type debt.
|SWORN DOMESTIC RELATIONS FINANCIAL AFFIDAVITS OF BOTH PARTIES ARE REQUIRED.
|SWORN FINANCIAL AFFIDAVITS OF BOTH PARTIES ARE REQUIRED. Confirmation of all income - bring paycheck stubs, income tax return.
|Bring preferences of the holiday schedule.