An impending divorce brings major concerns and puts you on an emotional roller coaster.
If you and your spouse have decided to mediate your divorce, good planning and organization will keep you focused as you work toward creating a mutually satisfactory agreement.
Mediation is a confidential, low-stress process that usually runs smoothly. However, you can help it along by gathering the information you need so as to be ready to work with your soon-to-be-ex on a settlement agreement. The list of documents you will need includes but is not limited to:
- Tax returns
- Pay stubs plus W-2s or 1099s
- Checking, savings and CD accounts and balances
- Retirement accounts and pensions
- Investment information
- Credit card balances
- Live insurance policies
- Outstanding loan information
- Copy of marriage certificate
- Copies of pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreements
- Copies of wills if executed during your marriage
What are your personal priorities? Think about what you want to get out of this divorce. If you want to keep the family home, for example, what assets are you prepared to give in return? If you are a parent, what are your goals for raising your children? Keep in mind that the court will always make determinations based on the best interests of a child.
The documents you gathered for mediation would work for any kind of divorce process. They will also be useful in helping you plan a post-divorce budget. Additionally, you will find that the open communication process you experienced during mediation will be useful in the next phase of your life, especially when you are putting a framework for post-divorce family relationships together.