What Information about Assets will a Mediator need in a Divorce Proceeding?
In a mediation, both spouses decide to work collaboratively with a mediator. However, you can also retain your own independent attorney, along with the neutral mediator, in any pending family law case.
If you and your spouse choose mediation as your form of marital dissolution, the mediator will require full financial disclosure from both parties in order to equitably divide marital property. This information is essential to a full and fair mediation process.
A mediator will remain neutral, and should be retained jointly by you and your spouse. Mediation sessions will be conducted with all parties present and private negotiations or discussions should only take place with advance notice and consultation. However, many parties also want to receive the input – both before, during and after a final agreement is reached – from an attorney who represents their interests alone.
Both parties involved in a dissolution action must complete a Declaration of Disclosure, an Income & Expense Declaration and a Schedule of Assets and Debts. A mediator can assist you with understanding what documents and statements you will need to fill out and go along with these forms to finalize your Marital Settlement Agreement.
If additional disclosure is needed, such as a real estate appraisal or business valuation, a mediator can help you and your spouse secure the services of local experts. You can share the costs of retaining experts with your spouse and ensure that each of you have access to the same information.
When divorce is amicable, mediation is the more cost effective, timely and civilized solution. A good mediator understands the laws and is able to assist in coming up with a fair Judgment that will serve both parties.