The thought of attending your first mediation session can be nerve wracking. You might be concerned over how your ex is going to act or what’s going to be put out on the table that you’re unprepared for. Luckily, if you enter the room armed with some insight as to what to expect, you’ll be leaps and bounds ahead of others who’ve gone into it blind in the past.
One of perhaps the most important things you can do to ensure that you don’t get caught off guard in the session is to bring a listing and even copies of the titles or deeds of any valuable assets you own. Among those valuable assets you might include on the list, you’ll want to include any real estate, artwork, antiques or cars.
You’ll also want to gather together as many financial documents as you can with you. You should aim to gather together checking and savings, retirement and investment account statements.
If you are continuing to contribute funds to any of these, are monthly loan payments on them or there is a pending lawsuit against you for some kind of debt, then you’ll want to bring information documenting all of that with you.
While it’s best to go into mediation with a firm control over your emotions and ready to negotiate, you should keep in mind you can pull aside the mediator to discuss things you fear may get heated in private. When doing so, you should keep in mind that any amount of time he or she spends with you, must also be spent with your spouse. Even though that’s the case, separately meeting with the mediator can help move things along.
Sit down to draft a budget that will help you visualize what assets you’re wishing to hold on to and the monthly obligations and debts associated with doing so. This may be particularly helpful in determining what you fight to keep or let go. Writing down certain concerns that are deal breakers so that you don’t forget to bring them up is also important.
While partners do not require representation by attorneys at mediation, they can help guide you and keep you focused on your desired outcomes. What’s more, having a Houston divorce mediation attorney on your side can ensure that your rights will be protected and obligations upheld with whatever settlement is reached.
Source: The Huffington Post, “How to prepare for your first mediation session — Your eight steps plan,” Michelle Rozen, accessed Sep. 19, 2017