Sensible Separation

 

"With a little preparation, mediation may make  your divorce far simpler than you expected."

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My First Appointment


Although not required, there are a few things you should consider doing to make your first appointment the most productive. Please read an article I wrote, titled, "What to Bring to My First Mediation Appointment " and then review the additional considerations, below:


1.  Please download and fill out our new client information sheet below. Please also review the Agreement to Mediate Contract at the bottom of this page, you will need to sign this at your first appointment. 


2. Try to agree on a common approach to divorce procedure: Traditional, Collaborative or Mediation. See, FAQ for help.


3. Discuss interim financial arrangements before you commence mediation, and agree that no unusual expenses will be incurred without an agreement. 


4. Unless you are in agreement on your respective incomes, assemble all W-2s, K-1s, tax returns and other information so that incomes can be verified for at least the last two years.


5. Assemble one copy of all known bills and loan statements so we can verify your outstanding obligations. Likewise, assemble account statements, appraisals or other indications of assets owned, so your assets can be defined and valued. Locate a benefits summary from your employers, including pension, insurance, profit sharing, and other retirement related accounts. If your finances are complex, consider agreeing on an accountant or financial planner to help you to prepare a preliminary family balance sheet. You might try to present your financial information on an Excel spreadsheet. No particular form is required, but one I like to use may be downloaded by clicking the button below.


6. Review and, if possible, complete a preliminary discussion draft of a Domestic Relations Affidavit (DRA).  There is one for families with minor children and one for families without minor children that can be found below.


8. It can be helpful for some divorcing couples to schedule at least one meeting with a family therapist to discuss your divorce and attempt to develop common ground rules. ​I can provide references if you would like.


9. With respect to the forms below, if you are able to scan and email them to our office before we meet, it helpful, but not required.  By doing so, we won't have to waste time photocopying them for you and, if time allows, it gives us a chance to review them beforehand.