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There's no pressure to reach an agreement or sign anything during mediation. It's important that you make an informed, thoughtful decision. That includes time to think about the solutions you are contemplating, and time to consult with a lawyer if you have retained one, an accountant, or any other professional who can help you make your own decisions.

The better informed you are about your assets, liabilities, children's schedules, and your goals for the outcome of your situation, the more progress we can make in the mediation session. There's no need to go overboard in planning for the first session, but it is helpful if you have an idea about your assets and debts, as well as your goals for the outcome of your situation.

It's helpful if you can gather together the following:

•A list of your assets

•A list of your debts

•If you own a house, the year you bought the house, how much you paid, what you think it's worth now, and how much you owe on the house

•A recent pay stub

•Tax returns and Notice of Assessments from the last three years

•If there are issues about personal property or household contents, please bring a list of the items that you cannot agree upon

•A copy of your work schedule

Assets include:


•Cars (value now, amount owed on loan)

•Pension, profit sharing, RRSP accounts, (include any loan information)

•Bank accounts

•Stock accounts

•Certificates of Deposit

•Businesses you own, or own a partial share

In addition, if you have children, please bring:

•A copy of their school schedule

•A copy of their extra-curricular activity schedule

To get the maximum benefit from mediation it is important to think about the case realistically and creatively. Before the mediation, parties who are represented by a lawyer should work with this lawyer to prepare for a session. Parties might consider these questions in preparing for mediation:

•What is my best scenario? What is my worst scenario?

•What am I trying to accomplish and what is really important to me?

•What are my main concerns and how can they be addressed?

•Are there any solutions to the dispute that can reconcile my interests?

•Are there any limits on my ability to settle? On my spouse's?

•What affect will a lawsuit have on my children?

•What are my hopes and dreams for my children?

•What will happen if the case does not settle at mediation?

Windsor Essex Mediation Centre

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