Moving from Part 2 into the area of “contested divorces,” this is a scenario where many other items than an MDA and a PPP are required. If there are immediate issues of concern over the safety and well-being of children, then, if you have not consulted with an attorney about divorce, you should file for an Order of Protection with the local Police Department. If you have a divorce attorney, this can be done through the court. Information is critical at this time. You will need answers to discovery and possible depositions. The depositions can occur before or after mediation. For information on mediation, see our publication on “The Benefits of Mediation During the Divorce Process.” Before you consult with your attorney, it is important to gather together important information. This may include, but is not limited to, individual bank account information, joint bank account information, deeds to real property, 401K or pension information, videos, emails, texts, pictures and a number of other items. I wanted to reinforce the idea that, despite mediation, if there are very serious concerns about who is taking care of the children, their financial ability to provide food, shelter, insurance and medical care and living arrangements, then any party can motion the court for a guardian ad litem. A guardian ad litem is a neutral attorney that is paid by the parties and appointed by the court to investigate all of these items. A guardian ad litem will provide a report to the court on matters of concern. You can use the guardian ad litem’s report at mediation or in court. Should you have any questions, click on WWW.KJONESLAWYERS.COM or call (423) 424-6208.