Family Law Mediation Checklist
Every mediator has different intake forms they use to understand the issues facing a couple in family law disputes. Whether you come to our office for your mediation or go to another mediator, the checklist below will help you start thinking about any issues you might have in your situation before you go to mediation. The list also includes documents you might want to bring to help everyone see the financial situation in black and white.
The checklist below is not exhaustive and is intended to inspire you to consider not only the information here, but all the issues you might want to cover in mediation. One of the great benefits of mediation is that parties can reach agreements on issues the court would not decide. You can decide things like “who will pay for college expenses” and reach agreements on parenting style such as the age at which a child should have his/her own cell phone. The list below does not go into that level of detail, but can provide you a good start for preparing for your first mediation session:
- statements, ind. or joint, marital or non-marital
- property tax statements, appraisals if available
- Quit claim deeds
Non-Marital Property (property owned before marriage or gifted to only one spouse during the marriage)
- Documents to show non-marital status including financial statements w dates
- Any tracing or forensic accounting summaries
- Inventory of property including current possession of property, proposed division of property, estimated market value for each item
- Monthly Living Expenses for each spouse (including child support and other debts)
- Monthly income for each spouse (list all sources of income whether or not considered for child support)
- Provide resumes or work experience and education for each spouse
- Last five paystubs
- Issues with potential income? Provide resume and experience or income history
- Evidence of income: pay stubs or recent tax returns
Minor Children’s Activities
- Proposed Regular weekly schedule
- Proposed Holiday/Vacation schedule
- Current market value
- Title held in whose name?
- Proposed division of automobiles
- Account statements—year end are most helpful
- Detailed inventory of debt: name of person who incurred the debt; amount of debt; terms of payment; creditor; purpose of debt (i.e. school loan, home improvement, etc.); proposal for dividing or satisfying marital debts
Medical and Dental Insurance—parties and minor children
- Insurance Statements
Preparation of the final Stipulation–who will do it?
Income Tax Returns
- Separate or joint this year?
- Deductions moving forward