- What is a mediator?
A mediator is a neutral trained to assist clients in resolving issues. In divorce situations, the issues could include child custody, parenting, property division, support and related questions. The mediator works with the parties to guide them in gathering information necessary to make meaningful decisions and focus on problem-solving.
- What do I need to bring to a mediation session?
To prepare for your divorce mediation, complete the appropriate court documents:
Child Support Guidelines Worksheet
Uncontested Divorce Court Forms
Financial Statement – short form
Financial Statement – long form
Financial Statement – Schedule A (self employment)
Financial Statement – Schedule B (rental income)
- In addition, bring the latest statements from all your accounts including banks, credit unions, investments, employment benefits. You should also bring your last 4 pay stubs and your last W-2 statement and 1099 statements. Your income tax returns from the previous year should also be disclosed. And, your debts and obligations also need to be documented.Depending on your circumstances, other documentation or more statements may be required.Why are these documents necessary? In order to make informed decisions about support and property division, both parties need to have an understanding of the overall financial situation.If you are mediating a modification of a prior divorce or other type of dispute, other documents may be necessary.
- The Mediation Process – How does Mediation work?
Every mediator has different approaches. Lynda believes that two-hour meetings are usually most effective – you can accomplish a lot without exhausting yourself with the hard work involved. The first mediation meeting focuses on giving the mediator background into your situation, sharing what you have agreed to, what you have not agreed to and, sometimes, identifying things you did not know you had to think about. From there, you discuss information and documents you need to gather for future meetings and start working toward settlement. Once you have reached agreement on most, if not all maters, Lynda will prepare a draft Agreement for your review.
- What documents does the mediator prepare?
The only document Lynda prepares is the Agreement. You or your attorney complete the forms required by the Court.
- Do I have to go to Court?
Yes, in divorce and post-divorce situations. The Divorce or other Agreement is not final and does not become enforceable until approved by a Judge.
- Does the Mediator go to Court with me?
No, you go to Court by yourselves or with your attorneys. The Mediator can answer your questions about Court procedures but, having attorneys assist you makes the process easier.
- Why do I need a lawyer?
As a neutral mediator, Lynda can only provide legal information, not legal advice. While you are not required to have a lawyer, the outcome of the Divorce will have a very significant impact on you and, if you have children, your children. Lynda urges all her clients to consult with an attorney. Having an attorney also helps the Court process proceed smoothly.
For more information, see our Mediation Resources in the right sidebar or contact us!