Divorce does not have to be Ugly
Just because you and your partner have decided to end your marriage, does not mean that the divorce process has to be bitter, angry, and contested. If you and your spouse are able to communicate and listen to each other and keep an open mind, than you are ideal candidates for divorce mediation.
In divorce mediation, you and your spouse meet with a Divorce Mediator in an effort to work out the details of your divorce settlement. Usually this professional is an attorney or a therapist. Our mediators at Divorce Mediation Advisors LLC are attorneys and we pride ourselves on maintaining our neutrality. Our Divorce mediation attorneys have no “skin in the game” – our only goal is for you and your spouse reach a fair agreement that works for your family and your specific set of circumstances. Each divorce presents a unique set of facts and deserves personal attention. Our Divorce Mediators are there to guide you to find common ground and to educate you on various options and help you to formulate ideas. Throughout the divorce mediation process, we will never dictate the outcome the way a Judge or an arbitrator decide these issues. Rather, you are in control of the process and the outcome. The terms of the divorce agreement rest with you and your spouse. Our job as divorce mediation professionals, is to make sure that you are making educated and informed decisions. Our divorce mediators are here to answer questions, inform you of the laws and the manner which these laws are customarily applied in divorces, and offer suggestions and ideas based on our substantial experience with divorce settlements.
You can have Your Own Independent Attorney
Choosing Family Mediation does not mean that you can not consult with your own attorney. In contrast, we advise all of our couples to consult with an independent attorney at some point during the process. Usually, this takes place at the conclusion of the mediation process, when you and your spouse have come up with an agreement for the various issues. However, some individuals consult with an attorney as the process is going on. Attorneys, on occasion, even attend mediation sessions with their clients. There is no black and white procedure and each mediation is different. What is important to note, however, is that all participants will have the opportunity and will be advised to present the terms and conditions of the divorce agreement to an independent attorney.
The particular areas that need to be negotiated and agreed upon vary from divorce to divorce and is tailored specifically to the facts and circumstances of the particular family law situation. However, the common areas are as follows:
- Creating a Budget for both parties:
A budget is crucial in determining the needs of the respective participants and their children. This is the cornerstone of all financial negotiations that will take place in the mediation arena.
- Determining child support and spousal support:
Often times, one of the participants in family mediation will need monetary support in order to provide for the children during his or her parenting time or will need spousal support in order to support himself after the marriage is over.
- Dividing property acquired during the marriage:
The participants must decide who is going to live where and how they will pay for their respective residences. In addition, retirement accounts and pensions must be divided. In addition, automobiles, investments, business interests, vacation properties, art, jewelry, and any other assets must be divided fairly. In addition, any debts acquired during the marriage should be discussed and divided as well.
- Future Parenting Arrangement:
The participants in divorce mediation must determine the schedule for the children to be with each parent. This includes not only normal parenting time but holidays, special events, summer vacation, and more. The participants must also decide a process for making major decisions that concern the children. For example, what will happen if they cannot agree whether one of the children should start taking a certain medication? The mediator will help the parties to reach consensus on these types of issues if possible. If consensus is not possible, the divorce mediator will offer some ideas on dividing up areas of decision making or implementing tie-breakers in the event that the parties reach a decision-making impasse (for example, taking the recommendation of the child’s primary doctor should the parties be unable to agree on a medical-related decision).
At Divorce Mediation Advisors LLC, we have attorneys on staff that are experienced at drafting divorce settlement agreements and separation agreements. We will draft a legal contact at the conclusion of the mediation process. Our mediators always strongly suggest that each party bring the agreement to an independent attorney for review. Not all divorce mediators are able to draft an agreement on your behalf and may outsource this work whereas we can handle your divorce from beginning to end.