As they say preparation is the key to efficiency and success. To that end we have published a divorce mediation checklist for documents and topic discussion.
If you are getting ready for mediation, here is a beginning checklist for documents and information to gather and bring with you to the first session. This is an initial list only. Your individual circumstances will dictate how much and how far back a time period is appropriate and necessary.
Documents to gather:
Financial: (you and spouse)
- Last 3 years of taxes
- Last 4 paystubs from you and your spouse employment
- Last year’s statement for all your bank accounts
- Last year’s investment account statements
- Last year’s investment accounts
- Last year’s statement for all retirement accounts and pensions
- Copy of real estate deeds, mortgage, real estate taxes
- List of all bank accounts, investment accountants, annuities, life insurance policies
- List of all employee benefits, stock options, deferred compensation accounts, severance statements
- List of autos and recreational vehicles, title information, loans, proof of ownership
- List of all personal property owned (jewelry, furniture, etc.)
- List of any assets you own jointly with another, trusts you are named in as trustee or beneficiary
- List of credit cards owned, titling information
- List of loans, mortgages, personal debts, student loans
- Health insurance information (if from employer, the “summary plan description)
- Disability Insurance information
- Life insurance information
- Long term care insurance information
- A list of all monthly expenses – Now- You should be asked to work up a list 1 year post divorce for budgeting purposes
- Birth certificates of your children
- List of doctors for your children
- A list of school, teacher, day care information
- A list of activities of the children and costs
- A proposed calendar for the parenting schedule of the children
- Your certified copy of marriage certificate (civil, not religious certificate)
- Copy of any prenuptial agreement
Priorities, Positions, and Possibilities:
- How much involvement will each parent have
- Parenting Schedule including weekdays, weekends, holidays
- School- High school and College
- Health Insurance
- Will the marital home be kept or sold? If kept for how long
- Division of after Tax items- bank accounts, checking, investments, business
- Division of pre-tax items- IRAs, 401k, pensions, stock and deferred compensation
- Debts-Division of and who retains credit cards, mortgage, student loans and private loans.
- Who will keep the cars, boats, jewelry and furniture?
- Have you prepared a current and post-divorce budget? Will you have the funds to meet your expenses?
- What is the appropriate amount of child support and for how long? How does it coordinate with expected college costs?
- Is spousal support appropriate for either of you? Do you want it? If not will there be an agreement to a different split of assets and liabilities?
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