Preparing for Mediation: Property Edition

Thank you for joining me. My name is LaSheena Williams, and I am a Maryland family law attorney. My firm helps our clients take control of out-of-control domestic situations. Today we will be discussing preparing for property mediations.

What is mediation?

Mediation is where both parties in a litigation issue come together with a mediator and try to see if they can work on agreeing on terms to resolve any legal disputes. This may be court-ordered mediation, or this may be an informal mediation, but the goal of mediation is to see if there can be any resolution to outstanding issues between the parties.

Prepare your Settlement Proposal

If you are heading to a property mediation, it’s important for you to prepare your settlement proposal. Preparing your settlement proposal in advance will help you kind of paint the story you want to show. And what that means is you’ll know what the issues are what the outstanding issues regarding the house, regarding any cars, regarding any time shares, or any other issues that’s related to property and you will have prepared what you want to do regarding those issues. Preparing a settlement proposal helps you understand and get a snapshot view of what you want and how you plan to proceed regarding the property concerns.

Prepare an Asset and Liabilities Chart or a 9-207 Statement

In Maryland, if you’re currently in litigation, you are required to prepare a 9-207 statement for the court to address any property issues at your merits hearing. Now, a 9-207 statement is essentially an asset and liability statement, but we try to make sure our clients prepare something called an asset and liability statement, where we address the current values of any assets, the most recently updated information, where we got that information, and what we ultimately want to do with those assets and liabilities in the case. It helps to take a look and make sure you understand where that information is coming from and what additional information you may need going into your property mediation.

Be open to Creative Solutions, but Know your Boundaries

It is very important to keep as many things on the table as possible. If you throw away an issue that you don’t necessarily care about, it may prevent you from bringing up that issue later. it’s important for you to keep everything on the table so that when things start to get divided, you can get rid of things that the opposing party may want, but that you might not necessarily want in the hopes of getting some closer to getting something that you want. It’s important for you to speak with an attorney about the best way to deal with these types of issues, especially, going into a property mediation. You want to know what it is that you care about and what it is you’re the opposing party cares about so that you can maneuver those issues around to keep as much of the assets as you would prefer to keep. Mediation is different from going to court where a judge just decides what they’re going to do with your life and with your assets. Mediation gives you the opportunity to be creative about the resolution that you intend to have. And it’s in important that you keep an open mind about seeking resolutions which is why you want to speak with your attorney about what options you have in dealing with certain assets, but it’s also important to know that you have boundaries, to know what those boundaries are, and to not go beyond those boundaries, especially if it’s something that the court might not necessarily be inclined to order in the first place. You need to understand where you give and where your take will be so that you can make sure that you have the best agreement possible in your case.

If you have any questions about property mediation or any other divorce related issues, contact the Law Office of LaSheena M. Williams at (301) 778 – 9950 or leave an online request for a consultation.