Mediation is a process whereby the parties of a divorce settle disputes outside the traditional courtroom environment with the assistance of a professional mediator. We’ve discussed some of the basics of mediation in previous articles; for instance, we’ve discussed the steps involved in the procedure, the cost structure, and other essential points. Mediation can be a huge benefit for the parties from a financial perspective. Comparatively, the mediation fees tend to be quite low when stacked up with litigation. This is one of the primary reasons why many spouses prefer mediation over litigation. This post will give some tips so that spouses who elect mediation can be fully prepared when they arrive for their first session.
Mediation Tip #1: Bring All Necessary Court Documents
One thing you’ll need to do to prepare is to gather and bring all necessary court documents. To be fully prepared, you should get copies of all court documents. This means the initial petition for divorce, your spouse’s response, and any other documents which have been successfully filed. You may also want to bring documents that haven’t been filed yet if you’d like additional information from the mediator or your attorney. If, for instance, you have questions about child custody paperwork, you can bring copies of this paperwork to the session.
Mediation Tip #2: Bring All Necessary Financial Documents
One of the principal aspects of the divorce process pertains to property division. During a divorce, the spouses divide their marital property according to Maryland’s “equitable distribution” principle. For this process to unfold, the spouses must provide the court with financial disclosures. In other words, the spouses must give a complete list of all assets (i.e. personal property, bank accounts, etc.). To be fully prepared, spouses must bring copies of all relevant financial documents and a list of assets to give proper disclosures. Bringing these documents is essential to settling property disputes and generating a property division agreement.
Mediation Tip #3: Familiarize Yourself with All Relevant Issues / Points of Discussion
The purpose of mediation is to resolve all disputes outside of the courtroom. The spouses must be familiar with all the issues covered during the mediation session. If, for instance, the spouses share children and need to create a child custody arrangement, these spouses will need to dwell on this matter and be sure to conduct adequate research. Similarly, you must research all issues pertinent to these arguments if spouses intend to make certain arguments regarding property division – perhaps that a certain piece of property is marital rather than separate. Mediation can be a somewhat difficult process, but being prepared in this way can make a world of difference.
Final tip: Be Sure to Bring Your Means of Payment
This is something that many people assume would be a “no-brainer.” Still, it’s worth mentioning specifically here: don’t forget to bring your method of payment for your mediator’s fee, attorney’s fee, and other expert fees, whenever applicable. This is the simplest way to be prepared, but it’s most critical because the mediation itself can’t proceed without payment!
Contact the Murphy Law Firm for More Information
These are just a few tips to prepare yourself better for your upcoming mediation. If you’d like to learn more, please get in touch with The Murphy Law Firm today by calling 240-493-9116.