The first meeting with the mediator will lay the basic groundwork for the mediation process. In this session, you and your spouse will discuss the main issues of divorce, such as child custody and support, and spousal maintenance. You should bring tax returns and financial statements to the first meeting. A good mediator can schedule the first appointment a few weeks in advance, and be available to answer your questions. You should also bring any relevant information to the first meeting.
The process begins with the spouses agreeing to use mediation and selecting the mediator. In most states, couples cannot be forced into mediation, but courts may require a good faith effort on the part of both parties. The initial conversation is necessary for the mediator to gauge how far apart you and your spouse are and what areas they need to address. The mediator should make sure that both parties are willing to be fully transparent in the process. In some cases, the divorce process can be more amicable than you may think.