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Four Steps to Prepare for Divorce Mediation

By October 20, 2021February 21st, 2023Divorce, Mediation

Your divorce mediation appointment is scheduled. Now what? It’s time to prepare for your divorce mediation.

The more prepared you are for your divorce mediation, the less time you will need to mediate, which saves you time, money, and time-off from work.

The truth is that preparing for your divorce mediation is draining — sometimes more draining than the mediation itself.

As an Oregon divorce mediator with over 20 years of experience helping couples through divorce mediation, I suggest that you give yourself plenty of time between scheduling your first divorce mediation session and attending your session so that you have ample time to prepare for your mediation.

Step One: Hire an attorney-mediator

Get your mediator the information that identifies all of your assets and liabilities. Click here to learn more about types of assets and click here to learn about types of debts and liabilities

At Mediation Northwest, as soon as we are hired, we send our new clients an interactive questionnaire that allows our clients to answer questions and upload documents.

It’s in a “save-as-you-go” format, which allows our clients to address one section at a time on different days. It’s also great because the checklist of what information we need is essentially built into the questions we ask, which takes the guess-work out of how to prepare.

For those who aren’t lucky enough to work with a mediator who provides an interactive questionnaire, make sure you know the following information:

  • Your assets, 
  • The values of your assets, 
  • The account numbers, and 
  • Who is on each asset’s title 

Print your credit reports so that you know every liability, the value, the account number, and who is on the liability. Know your gross monthly income and your health insurance costs. 

Consider the costs of living your post-divorce life. Make a post-divorce budget. 

If you have children, think about what is the best parenting plan for your kids. If you have concerns about the other parent’s ability to parent or his/her parenting style, make a list so that you can voice those concerns. You will forget more than you will remember, so prepare for this phenomena.

Step Two: Recognize that divorce mediation is a process

Have realistic expectations going into the mediation. It took many years to create this marriage and it will take many hours of mediation to untangle this marriage. 

It is extremely rare to only need one mediation session. Most couples need between three and six sessions.

Step Three: Rest up before your appointment

The night before mediation, eat well, sleep well, and abstain from alcohol or other intoxicants. You need to be alert and able to think during mediation. 

Mediation can be stressful. You will need your sleep, water, and sustenance!

Step Four: Come into the session prepared and respectful

On the day of mediation, eat and hydrate before your mediation. Your stress levels will be through the roof and proportionally, your body will burn through calories much quicker under the increased stress. No one negotiates well for themselves when they are hungry. Bring water. Your mouth could become dry from the stress. 

Come to mediation ready to actively participate and discuss the details of the divorce. Be prepared to listen more, talk less. Be on time and be respectful of everyone else’s time who is waiting (on you).

And most importantly, be prepared that not everything will go as you expected. Your mantra on the day of mediation should be this: No one gets all the wins in divorce mediation.

Contact Mediation Northwest Today

Preparation for your first session may sound complicated, but our job at Mediation Northwest is to work with both parties to make them go as smoothly as possible.

We have years of experience working with couples to find divorce solutions that work best for everyone, and we’re ready to help you get started. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

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