There are several advantages to choosing mediation, including the fact that you have more control over the decision-making process and outcome. Additionally, the process is less stressful and can save you money. If you have decided to move forward with the process of mediation, you might be wondering how to prepare for your first session and what to expect. Today, we discuss why preparation is key and how to best set yourself up for mediation success.
Preparation Is Key: Setting Yourself Up for Mediation Success
Before your first mediation session, it is important to ensure you are prepared. Your mediator will be able to provide you with a comprehensive list of what to bring, but it would also be beneficial to make sure you are mentally prepared. Get a good night’s sleep the day before, take care of yourself, eat a healthy meal, and put yourself in a positive, confident headspace.
Gather Financial Information Before Mediation
You will need to gather all your financial documents before your appointment. This includes the following:
- List of assets, debt, and marital property
- Financial statements (bank statements, credit card account documents, loan documents, and any other financial information you consider relevant)
You will also need proof of all assets, debts, and property. For debts, you will need to know your balances and what you pay monthly. It may be helpful to keep a list of all your assets, debt, and property in a spreadsheet to stay organized.
Ask for Directions and Map Out Your Route
If your mediation session is going to be held in person rather than online, ask the mediator how to get to their office, where to park, whether you will need to get a ticket validated, and other additional questions that come up. The last thing you want to do the day of your mediation session is drive around frantically trying to find your meditator’s office or search for parking.
Bring a List of Important Contact Numbers
You will need the contact information of close family members, financial planners, bankers, real estate agents, business partners, babysitters, and other individuals who take care of additional important aspects of your life. Make sure that your list includes accurate and up-to-date contact information.
Ensure You Have an Updated Calendar with You
If you have a calendar already, be sure to bring it with you for your first mediation session. If you do not have one, it would be beneficial to start one. You will need to refer to it to create a parenting plan, schedule follow-up mediation session, and let your co-parent know about your future commitments, including vacations and school holidays.
Write Down a List of Topics You Wish to Discuss
Take some time before your mediation session to determine what is important to you, which topics you would like to negotiate, and what is off the table. Consider preparing by practicing these conversations with yourself in the mirror to build confidence.
Discuss Payments with Your Spouse
Before the session, determine how you will pay for your mediation sessions with your spouse.
Put Yourself in the Right Mindset
While some mediation sessions are short, they can go on for hours at a time when two people cannot come to an agreement. Make sure you are physically prepared by bringing food, extra warm clothing, snacks, and water. Ensure you are mentally prepared by coming to the session with an open mind.
Call us at (949) 558-2624 or contact us online to learn more about our mediation services.