Q: I have a mediation coming up. What should I do to prepare?

A: Mediation will be most effective if you have a clear picture of your overall financial situation and, if you have children, try to have a proposed parenting time plan in place that can be discussed at mediation.

If at all possible, compile a list of personal property in your home and come up with a proposed spreadsheet of how those items will be distributed. It can be incredibly time-consuming at mediation to talk about personal property, and to the extent you are able to identify all of the items and who gets what, you will be able to focus on more important aspects of your property settlement at mediation.

If you own real estate, try to have it appraised, or at least obtain a market analysis from a real estate agent in advance of mediation. Compile statements for all retirement accounts and investments. If you have credit cards with balances, provide your attorney with current statements for all of those, as well as installment loans. The more information you have at your fingertips during mediation, the more likely it is you will be able to resolve your case. Plan to meet with your attorney in advance of mediation to discuss strategy and review the asset spreadsheet. The more information you have in your hands at mediation, the better.

For more information about divorce mediation, click here.