Mediation allows the participants to craft an agreement that is custom tailored to meet your family’s needs. Additionally, mediation can save your family money, time and the emotional turmoil that protracted litigation in the court system will cost. Keep costs and headaches to a minimum by going into your divorce mediation with the right tools to prepare for your first session by following our Divorce Mediation Document Checklist.
Most family law and divorce mediations require preparation of income, expense, asset and debt information, including but not limited to tax returns, pay stubs, and statements from various accounts. Here is our recommendations for your Divorce Mediation Document Checklist that you should have accessible for your first mediation session:
• Income Information: Be prepared to have your three most recent tax returns and wage statements available in order to calculate your monthly and annual income.
• Expense Information: Be prepared to have an idea of your 12-month average expenses. Additionally, in order to calculate child support, you will need the expense information relating to major child expenses, such as work-related childcare expenses like daycare, before and after care, and summer camps. You will also need to have information concerning any children’s extraordinary medical expenses, and educational expenses of the children, such as private school.
• Health Insurance: Calculating the cost to cover each person on a policy of health, dental or vision insurance requires a breakdown of the costs to cover the primary insured (i.e. the Employee-only costs), and the breakdown of the other family components (i.e., Employee plus 1 child, plus 2 children; Employee plus spouse). In a child support case, it is necessary to know the costs to cover the children.
• Debts: Debts include mortgages, home equity lines of credit, student loans, credit card debts, car loans, etc. Prior to mediation, you should know how your debts are titled – are they in your individual name, your spouse’s name, or held in joint names.
• Assets: An asset is the property you own, such as: a home, vacation home(s), timeshare, cars, trucks, boats, bank accounts, investment accounts, furniture, furnishings, collections, jewelry, businesses, retirement accounts, life insurance policies, college accounts, etc. It is important to know how each asset is titled and account number, if applicable.
When you are ready to begin your mediation session, you’ll feel more confident with all your documentation at your fingertips and will avoid wasting precious time and money fumbling around for information the mediator needs to assist you in reaching a durable agreement. By having all of the necessary documents indicated in our Divorce Mediation Document Checklist, you will also increase your chances of a fair outcome.
If you are interested in learning about how Divorce or Custody mediation might be a good fit for your specific situation, set up a consultation today at Jacobson Family Law by calling 443-741-1147 or simply set up an appointment on our website jacobsonfamilylaw.com.