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Divorces include a lot of paperwork that can be broken into three stages: initiating the divorce, disclosing financial information, and a Stipulated Judgment, which makes your agreements into court orders. Who prepares this paperwork really depends on who you select as your mediator.

The term mediator is very broad. It allows for a variety of persons to fill the role without any requirement to have specific training in divorce law. Divorce mediators will often be attorneys or counselors, however, not always. If your mediator is an attorney, she or he can fill out much of the paperwork that you will need for your divorce. If your mediator is not an attorney, you are going to need someone else to do the paperwork. This can be one of the parties’ consulting attorneys or a paralegal. The parties could even do it themselves, however, that is not advised.

Even if you have a mediator who will complete paperwork for you, it is unlikely that the mediator will complete the financial disclosure paperwork that must be done. Personally, when I mediate cases, I provide that paperwork with some basic instructions for completing it; however, leave it to the client to fill in the information with or without the help of an attorney of their choosing. I do this to avoid creating a conflict of interest since the financial disclosures involve characterizing the property that the parties have, which is a form of legal advice. I cannot give legal advice to both parties and if I gave legal advice to one party, I would no longer be able to act as a neutral mediator.

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