One of the common questions I hear from my clients is ‘what documents do you need for family mediation?’.
Here is a guide to the documents you might bring to family mediation that will help you get the most out of your family mediation session.
Priorities & Objective
To help you focus on your goals the most important thing is to have a list, (preferably in order of importance), setting out what you wish to achieve at mediation.
Your list could include simply achieving a fair settlement, or resolving a particular dispute(s), remaining calm and maintaining a cordial relationship, or perhaps, receiving or offering an apology of your own.
Most importantly, keep your outcomes specific, realistic and achievable.
Plan how you wish to participate and communicate your thoughts and proposals, explaining clearly why they are important to you or your children.
Try to plan for how you may react if you get upset, flustered or overwhelmed during the discussions.
Asking for a break or having a close friend, relative or your lawyer present for extra advice, are usually acceptable.
Court Documents & Legal Orders
It’s important to provide any relevant legal documents, especially if it helps you explain your position on certain matters.
Such documents could be a restraining order, parenting plan or consent order, child support documents, spousal support documents or any other undertakings or legal instructions currently in place.
Any one of these documents will assist the mediator to better understand your position and give appropriate guidance.
If you have been issued with a restraining order, it does not automatically prevent you from participating in a mediation process should you be asked to do so.
Asset & Liabilities Statements
For financial and property matters, you may want to bring the following documents to your family mediation session:
- bank and superannuation account statements
- investments (e.g. shares, insurance policies, inheritances, trusts and superannuation)
- valuations of real estate significant assets (home, businesses, vehicles, artworks/antiques etc.)
- liabilities (debts, mortgage, credit card, personal loans, etc.)
All these documents are vital determining the asset & liability pool which is going to be available for division between the parties.
Documents Related To Children
Documents related to children’s matters, could include any parenting agreement you may have already discussed or concluded with your ex, whether formal or informal and any agreements regarding child care arrangements.
Any report substantiating an educational or medical need that may be required could also be provided.
A Note About Sharing Your Documents
While every one of these documents will be most useful to the family mediation process, be aware that providing any document to the other party, means that they can later use it as evidence, should your matter end up in Court at a later stage.
However, in financial matters you have a legal obligation to provide any relevant financial documentation that is in your possession – anything that may have a bearing on the asset and liability pool.
Although whatever discussed during mediation remains strictly confidential, documents you voluntary provide to the other party might be used in Court.
This can be a complex issue which can have significant consequences, so it might be appropriate to seek professional legal advice regarding your obligations and rights.
To find out how family mediation could help you, call Ian today on 0418 928 448.
When it comes to family mediation in Perth, you won’t find someone more qualified and trusted to help you wrap up your divorce amicably and quickly.