Clients often ask me, “What do I bring to mediation?”
My answer is, eventually you bring everything: anything that proves the amounts of salary, assets, retirement accounts etc. But not right away.
The most important thing to bring to mediation is yourselves, in a reasonable shape to mediate. That means sleeping well (if possible), don’t come in after pulling an all-nighter, and make sure you’re not hungry. Be as calm as you can be. Meditate, exercise, pray and anything else that you can do to get in a good frame of mind. If you react so strongly to anything your ex says that you can’t listen well, it will be a longer, slower process or at worst, unworkable. Staying calm is the key. I can help with that! Be respectful. Not being respectful is a waste of time together, the money you are spending to mediate, and could even “torpedo” the mediation.
The other thing to bring is a list of agreements and issues. Agreements are those things, if any, that you two have already worked out. Issues are problems you have to solve. Don’t come to mediation with solutions to the problems only one of you has worked out or agrees with. The more attached to a particular solution to an issue, the less likely you will look at other possible solutions that will work as well, or perhaps even better. Usually it’s a combination of solutions that solves the problems.
If you have a lot of agreements, great!. If you don’t, don’t despair. Chances are, I can help you get there.