The Aurit Center

Preparing for divorce mediation: a guide to a smooth process

Our simple, guided, healthy divorce process.

A note from The Aurit Center’s founders

If you are preparing for mediation,

it means that you value the freedom to make your own decisions

and prioritize your children’s well-being.

With mediation, you can get more of what you want and give your kids a brighter future.

This guide shares valuable ways to get the most out of divorce mediation.

You can feel empowered knowing how to prepare for your Aurit Center mediation process.

Please give us a call or email us at with any questions.


Michael Aurit, Esq. and Karen Aurit, LAMFT

The Aurit Center Founders

Preparing for the divorce mediation process

You can feel relieved and more confident moving forward, knowing how best to prepare, what to expect, and what information is needed for your mediation process.

Aurit Center Certified Mediators have helped thousands of people just like you find a positive path toward a brighter future. This How to Prepare For Divorce Mediation Guide is the resource you can rely on to have a smooth and successful mediation process.

“Let’s walk through this together.”

At The Aurit Center, we take a unique approach to mediation. We believe in helping both spouses be their best selves so they can reach their best possible agreements on all divorce topics.

Your caring and trusted Aurit Center Certified Mediator will guide your process and help you both to feel a sense of relief. They will provide you with the necessary support so that you can focus on adjusting to this life transition.

Step-by-step, this guide will walk you through your preparation for mediation and outline the information you will need to gather before your first meeting. To ensure you have the best possible experience, we will also look at how you can prepare yourself emotionally, as co-parents, and as communicators.

Remember, you’ve already made the most important decision by choosing divorce mediation.

Now, it’s about getting the most from your meetings and finding the best possible outcomes.

Online is more comfortable and saves time and money

Online mediation is convenient, and many people find it to be much easier emotionally. Being able to attend from wherever you feel most comfortable also provides a sense of ease. We find that people speak more freely in online mediation. You have the choice to attend from the same location as your spouse or from separate locations. Your experienced, professional mediator will guide your process and help you reach all agreements from wherever you choose to attend.

Your trusted mediator will guide you through a safe, respectful, and positive online experience. You can schedule meetings for the dates and times that work well for you and your family and find comfort in knowing you’ll have support throughout the entire process.

“We believe divorce can be done in a healthier way,
and we are here to show you how.”

Your first divorce mediation meeting

The first meeting may seem daunting, so let’s break it down so you know what to expect and can make the most of your mediation process.

How do I prepare for my first meeting?

This is an image of a person writing notes with coffee and a pastry.Here’s a checklist to prepare you for your initial mediation meeting:

  • The right mindset matters: Take a moment before your meeting to focus on having an open and collaborative mindset.
  • Your Mediation Questionnaire organizes information for your mediation discussions. To learn more about what information will be important, check out our Divorce Mediation Information Checklist.
  • Mediation takes place at your pace. Schedule meetings for dates and times that are convenient for both of you.
  • Questions are part of the process. Keep a list of things you want to discuss or questions you have for your mediator.
  • Emotions are also part of the process. Now is the time to take care of yourself. Take a moment to relax and breathe before and after each meeting. You might take a walk, listen to your favorite music, or go to a favorite restaurant. You might even book a massage.
  • Support can make a world of difference. If you need more support, we can recommend therapists who specialize in helping individuals cope with divorce.

What will we discuss in our first meeting?

You have already begun a healthier process by choosing mediation. In the first meeting, your mediator will walk you through the expectations, meeting structure, guidelines, and outcomes. They will help you prepare for a healthy divorce journey.

Aurit Center Certified Mediators prioritize the needs of children. If you have minor children, in your first meeting, your mediator will help you discuss all Parenting Plan issues. Of course, if there is ever a pressing issue, your mediator can be flexible with the structure of your meetings.

If you don’t have children together, you will likely start with a discussion about assets and debts. As you reach agreements, you will notice your mediator jotting down notes to reference when drafting your documents.

How can I help our mediation meetings run smoothly?

Proper preparation and an as-positive-as-possible mindset lead to successful divorce mediation.

Even as emotions change, you can keep an open mind and have good intentions throughout. Speaking in a calm tone of voice is very helpful. Knowing that it is possible to find solutions will also help you do just that.

“Your mindset matters.”

Keep a list of your questions, and your mediator will address them during your meeting.

If you have any questions between meetings, the best way to communicate is to send your mediator an email.

How can I ensure mediation leads to a healthy divorce?

You can positively impact your process by believing in your ability to find solutions. You can reach mutually beneficial agreements in mediation even when there are challenges, communication breakdowns, or conflict.

We believe divorce very rarely belongs in a courtroom. We also believe that a low-stress, low-conflict process is better for everyone involved. We are dedicated to lighting your path forward. You can have a healthy divorce process when you:

Keep conflict low
Communicate respectfully and save tense conversations for mediation.

Reach out
Your Aurit Center Certified Mediator is here to help you both every step of the way.

Come prepared
Bring any information your mediator suggests you gather in between meetings.

Take time
Give yourself time to reflect on each of your tentative agreements. You may find you have new perspectives during mediation.

Take care of yourself
Identify things that bring you a sense of stress relief and peace. Give yourself permission to do more — not less — of them during your process. For you, it may be an evening walk, a workout, reading, or listening to music. Being kind to yourself supports a healthy lifestyle and has a positive impact on your mediation process. It also supports your emotional healing.

Divorce mediation for parents

Studies show the impact of divorce itself does not have a long-lasting negative effect on children’s emotional and social development. It’s true — and research shows that one of the causes of damage to a child’s development is exposure to ongoing parental conflict. As parents, you impact how well your kids adjust by how you approach your divorce process.

“Conflict, not the divorce itself, causes long-term harm to children.”

The biggest obstacle to children coping is parental conflict. When the parents are at war, the children suffer.

Our divorce mediation services help you have the healthiest divorce possible. Your family can transition through this difficult time without long-lasting negative effects.

How can I help my kids?

We understand your kids are your priority. Be prepared to provide extra support, no matter their ages, especially during the initial stages of the divorce.

“We understand your kids are your priority.”

Visit our website to explore the multiple resources available to help you, such as:

How can I protect the health and well-being of my children?

Aurit Center Certified Mediators share your #1 goal of protecting the health and well-being of your children. Co-parents who mediate maintain control over their children’s future and each of their relationships with them. In court, a judge makes the decisions for you — and with very limited knowledge of your family’s needs.

Effective co-parent communication will have an enormous impact on your children. Research shows that healthy co-parenting, with very low conflict, protects the health and well-being of children.

With a collaborative mindset, you can find solutions for child custody issues, living arrangements, and all other complex issues. Working together to create flexible solutions builds a foundation for healthy co-parenting moving forward.

Even when collaboration is challenging, our experienced, professional mediators will help you communicate in a productive way.

“We share your #1 goal of protecting
the health and well-being of your children.”

How do we create consistency across two homes?

Children feel safe and secure when their lives have some structure, consistency, and routine. Even the simplest daily routines help children adjust and feel safe, knowing they can predict what comes next.

The good news is that even when you and your co-parent are parenting from different houses, you can continue to provide consistency. How? By developing a detailed Parenting Plan during mediation. Your mediator will help you identify each area where you can provide consistency. A personalized Parenting Plan will best support your children.

This is an image of two sisters sitting together in a hammock.Depending on your children’s ages, consistency will look different. Of course, whether from one house or two, things don’t always go as planned. However, if you both generally provide a similar daily routine for your kids, they will benefit greatly.

How will we make decisions about parenting time?

Your Aurit Center Certified Mediator will guide you through every aspect of your Parenting Plan.

They will help you collaborate and find acceptable solutions for child custody issues, living arrangements, and other complex issues. Here are some general considerations that will help you make decisions.

First, consider your children’s ages. Often, toddlers have little understanding of “tomorrow” and need more frequent contact with each parent to feel secure.

As children begin to understand the concept of time, around seven or eight, they begin to comprehend the concepts of a “week” or a “month.” This allows for more flexibility in your parenting schedules. If you have teenagers, you will want to consider their jobs, extracurricular activities, and social events when planning your parenting schedules.

Generally, an effective Parenting Plan provides your children with continuous, frequent, and predictable contact for both of you. Our experienced mediators will help you create a parenting schedule that maximizes your time with your children and accounts for your children’s best interests.

“You can create personalized agreements
to prioritize your children’s needs.”

Second, consider your children’s personalities. The maturity and temperament of each child will greatly affect your parenting time agreements. Your Aurit Center Certified Mediator can help you understand the numerous creative options available to create unique agreements that best meet your family’s needs.

Third, keep it practical. If you live only a short distance from your co-parent, frequent exchanges might be possible. If you live far apart, fewer exchanges may be in order. If frequent visits aren’t possible, technology is your friend. You might work with your co-parent to have video-calling sessions to connect with your kids.

Successful collaboration lets you develop creative solutions that provide consistency.

With the guidance of an experienced divorce mediator, you can give your children a happy, two-home family.

Will our Parenting Plan address our child’s special needs?

Yes. You can create a Parenting Plan that speaks to the specific needs of your children. Careful planning will enable you both to help your children adjust. It will also ensure that they receive the best possible care during and after your family’s transition. We specialize in helping you reach mutually beneficial agreements that are in the best interests of your children.

How can we learn to co-parent?

As you both acclimate from your previous role of spouse to your new role of co-parent, a supportive, detailed, well-thought-out Parenting Plan can make all the difference.

Defining clear and consistent boundaries and guidelines creates stability for both of you as you aim to provide consistent child-rearing practices and routine daily life with your kids.

One of the biggest benefits of mediation is that the spouses practice communicating in a new way, which will help them during the divorce process and well into the future.

You can find more helpful information in “Courageous Co-Parenting,” written by The Aurit Center’s own Michael Aurit.

What if we can’t seem to get along?

Some conflict during the separation process is completely normal. It doesn’t have to reduce your children’s ability to adjust if you avoid an escalation of conflict during the divorce.

“Even though parents deal with heavy feelings, it is desirable to put the child’s interests first to stabilize the family system” – Hüseyin Çaksen

Mediation prevents escalation of conflict and sets you up for healthier co-parenting. We are here to help you keep conflict low and avoid a harmful, drawn-out court process. Our swift and peaceful process helps you and your children more easily heal and adjust.

Your online Mediation Questionnaire

Once you have scheduled your first mediation meeting, you will each receive a Mediation Questionnaire via email to be completed before your meeting. This questionnaire will organize any and all necessary information.

Each of you will complete your own questionnaire. This will help your mediator better understand your individual needs. You are welcome to share information with each other as you work on gathering information so as not to duplicate efforts.

What information will I be providing in the Mediation Questionnaire?

Your questionnaire will allow you to share the necessary information in a simple and organized way.

  • Personal Information. Your personal information (full name, address, phone number, employer, etc.) for preparing your legal documents. Please review this information for accuracy and submit it prior to your first meeting.
  • Asset/Debt Information. Includes details such as your account numbers and whose name(s) is on each account. If you are unsure about some details, you can leave them blank for now.

Most states require full financial disclosure between spouses, whether their divorce occurs via mediation or litigation. Completing your Questionnaire and sharing financial information fulfills this requirement. Disclosure includes both joint and separate properties acquired before or during the marriage.

Note: Accounts opened prior to the marriage and accounts in only one spouse’s name must be disclosed. These accounts must be in your Final Decree, even if they will remain with only one of you.
Note: In divorce litigation, this process is referred to as Formal Legal Discovery. It is led by divorce attorneys and often results in increased conflict and legal fees.
  • Monthly Expenses. Estimated monthly expenses will help you develop an understanding of your post-divorce expenses. This information helps guide a comprehensive discussion and will give you important information about your finances.

When listing monthly expenses, please be as accurate, realistic, and reasonable as possible. To estimate expenses, refer to past bills, budgets, or credit card statements to see what you typically spend. If you have not previously paid an expense, such as rent, look into the costs in your area to make your best estimate.

A completed Questionnaire leads to productive conversations during meetings. Fill out as much as possible, skipping items that do not apply to your circumstance. More information is better than less.

Do I upload financial documents before the first meeting?

Financial statements are an important part of the required disclosure. If you share accounts and both of you have open and free access to them, it is still important to upload statements if either of you requests them.

Some states require the disclosure of any and all financial information to which only one spouse has access. Your mediator will work with you to make sure all your bases are covered with respect to any state-specific divorce laws and requirements where you live.

FAQs about the mediation process

Here’s some more helpful information you should know about mediation:

How can I ensure communication remains healthy during mediation?

Because miscommunications do happen, especially in vulnerable moments, it’s best to have challenging conversations in mediation, where your Aurit Center Certified Mediator will serve as your guide.

“It is best to encourage and support your spouse’s
well-being throughout your process.”

Important discussions, such as “who keeps the house,” can sometimes lead to tension or conflict. If you are talking and tension starts to rise, agree to stop and have the discussion in mediation. Only talk about divorce issues outside of mediation if you both feel the conversation is positive and productive.

This is an image of a parent holding their child on the beach.When you support each other’s well-being throughout divorce, conflict is kept as low as possible, reducing stress for everyone involved. If you are parents, concern for your co-parent’s well-being will translate into a healthier co-parenting relationship — which is ultimately in your children’s best interests. It’s helpful to begin to view each other as co-parents rather than ex-spouses.

The following guidelines lead to healthy communication:

  • Be kind (to yourself and your spouse);
  • Use “I” statements rather than “You” statements;
  • Avoid inflammatory language and placing blame;
  • Avoid making accusations or bringing up past issues;
  • Make proposals, not demands, based on what you want or need;
  • Listen to understand one another without judgment; and
  • Try to understand each other’s perspectives.

During mediation, the most effective way to communicate with your mediator between meetings is to send them an email. They can answer any questions you may have and even set up a private phone call with you if needed. Your mediator will do their best to respond to your email within two business days.

How are positions different from interests?

Positions are what you want — where you stand on a topic. In court, each spouse takes a position and argues in support of that position.

Interests are the reasons why you want or need something. In mediation, you will think about and communicate based on your interests.

Your Aurit Center Certified Mediator will help you understand what each of you wants and needs — and why. You don’t have to agree with the other person. Understanding your own interests is a real game changer in being able to reach agreements. With your mediator guiding you, you’ll create unique agreements that you both find acceptable.

To prepare for mediation, begin thinking about your wants and needs and the “whys” behind them. Be as genuine and honest with yourself as possible.

What are my therapy/counseling options?

Many people find therapy or counseling helpful during divorce. Counseling can help you process your emotions. It can also help you reduce stress, cope effectively, and establish healthy communication and boundaries. Professional support facilitates a smoother transition. Different types of professional services are available:

  • Discernment Counseling – Helps you both have greater clarity around how you want to move forward (reconciliation, divorce, legal separation, etc.). Is typically a short-term process of 1-5 sessions.
  • Couples Counseling – Helps you both have informative conversations. You can make important decisions in a supportive environment.
  • Closure Counseling – Helps you cooperatively work together to make peace with the ending of the marriage. Is typically a short-term process of 1-5 sessions.
  • Individual therapy – Helps you focus on yourself, including your life experiences, your mindset, and your goals.
  • Life-coaching – Helps you gain insight in order to take action to attain greater fulfillment.
  • Family Therapy – Helps improve communication and relationships within the family system.
  • Child Therapy – Helps children to express and process their emotions in a supportive environment while their family goes through transition.

How do I pay my flat fee for divorce mediation?

The Aurit Center makes it as easy as possible for you to access mediation without the complication of complex payments.

You can choose to pay your mediation flat fee before your first meeting. Alternatively, your mediator will be happy to review payment options with you and take payment at the beginning of your first meeting.

You have a choice to pay in full or through a 3-, 6-, or 12-month payment plan. You can contact us anytime for more information or click here to learn about our pricing and payment plan options.

How do I find the best divorce mediator?

The most important consideration in choosing your mediator is trust. The issues you will cover in mediation are personal and sensitive and often involve complicated emotions.

We want you to know that your mediator has the knowledge and skill to help you reach an ideal outcome as efficiently as possible. To do that, Aurit Center Certified Mediators offer a free online consultation so you can meet your mediator and get a sense of their caring and trustworthy approach.

Our mediators believe in a healthier divorce process and are here to ensure a successful mediation process that leads to mutually acceptable solutions.

“We believe divorce can be done in a healthier way,
and we are here to help you every step of the way.”

We hope you found this guide helpful.
If you have any questions, please let us know.

Wishing you all the best,

— Karen and Michael Aurit
and the entire Aurit Center Team

Healthy divorce is a choice

Our free one-hour consultation comes with no obligation.
We are here to discuss your needs, answer your questions and ensure that our services are right for you.

Schedule your free consultation

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