Divorce Mediation Checklist: Top 4 Important Documents

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsSuccessful divorce mediation requires both spouses to divulge complete and true information of all documents in their financial disclosure forms and the Divorce Mediation Checklist form. The information may be voluminous when both parties have many assets and individual debts. Most people who’ve been through a divorce agree that this phase of cataloging information is the most testing time of the proceeding.

When all the paperwork is in place, the attorney or the mediator will take over the reins and direct the proceedings as smoothly as possible.

The ordeal will seem worth the effort and time invested when the settlement is in the best interest of both parties. When all the documents are in order it is easier to identify the needs of either partner and reach a mutually agreed settlement. With the help of a right mediator, you can iron out your differences and reach a common figure regardless of the ill-feelings held towards each other.

The divorce mediation checklist

All the required documents can be categorized into four categories:

  1. Assets: This includes information of both spouses (name, DOB, marriage date, annual income, employment status, contact number and address); details of the children, bank statements, statement of children’s account (CD’s, 529 plans, college fund etc.); stock investment details, vehicle details, pending lawsuits, if any when either or both spouse are listed as plaintiffs; settlements of loans, pension plans, other cash benefit plans (golden parachute plans), personal property appraisal and business valuation (in case of joint business ventures).
  1. Liabilities: The balance statements of all home equity loans, or credit held against any personal property, vehicle loans statements, student loans if any, statements for private loans (written or verbal when either or both spouse are debtor(s)), all credit card statements, information on civil case when either spouse is a defendant.
  1. Income & Taxes: Statement of income (pay stubs) and W-2 or 1099 employment statement for the last six months. Tax related documents like copies of federal and state tax returns for the last 3 years and supporting W-2 and 1099 forms; copies of corporate tax returns if the couple runs a joint business venture or individually.
  1. Insurance: Declaration sheets of all life insurance policies must be presented along with a written statement of payment towards the same and disability policy if held by a partner.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation.