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Divorce Mediation Checklist

Here are tips to make your mediation effective and successful.

Denisa Tova, CFP, CDFA, highly experienced mediator and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst who mediated a well over 2000 divorce compiles this divorce mediation checklist

  1. Find a mediator with a financial background.
  2. Understand what their mediation services include. Denisa says “most mediators will hand you a summary of your agreements and then you are left on your own or to hire attorneys (which can add significantly to the cost) to take it to the finish line”.
  3. Come prepared with financial information. Unfortunately most mediators do not prepare for the session and you find yourself walking into the session blind wasting time going through statements to establish what is what. Denisa Tova, CFP, CDFA, experienced mediator and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst believes that preparation on the mediator’s part is key to making the process efficient and effective. She requests and thoroughly reviews all financial statements, including tax returns, business financials, agreements, trust documents, loan documents, etc. ahead of time. That way in mediation the time is spent on looking at actual division options, cash flow options (such as alimony and child support) and parenting plan.
  4. Be willing to listen; the purpose of mediation is to facilitate discussion between the two parties. Denisa Tova says “I have seen over and over that the success of mediation lies in both parties being willing to separate themselves at least somewhat from their positions. When there was fluidity and movement there was a good settlement”.
  5. Feel stuck and uneasy to talk about your goals and needs in front of your ex? Don’t sweat it. Ask to speak privately with the mediator and it’s up to him/her to present the information in a constructive, helpful way.
  6. Give up the idea of “fair” and instead work toward “equitable.”
  7. Set reasonable time limits.

Preparation for mediation – article