Divorce or Legal Separation
Mediation is designed for people that want to peacefully mediate family disputes. The parties are able to learn the other person’s position and concerns through the mediator. It is a confidential process to assist couples to solve their issues in a private and peaceful setting rather than a public and stressful courtroom experience.
Mediated divorces are much less costly than often protracted and contentious proceedings. Individuals are encouraged to set forth their concerns and desired results in mediation with an experienced family law mediator with the knowledge that what is discussed will remain confidential. The freedom to communicate constructively allows for more focused and respectful results. Finances and other private matters are kept private and out of public view. The parties can maintain control over their own lives without the Court deciding their future. Mediation is much more efficient, expeditious and far less costly than a highly litigated divorce or legal separation.
Once an agreement has been reached the parties do not have to go to Court. A written agreement will be submitted to and approved by the Court and will be enforceable.
Spousal Support or Modification
There are many reasons to use Mediation for Spousal Support. A Modification to a Spousal Support Order can also be done through Mediation. The reasons that Mediation might be right for you are as personal and unique as both Parties.
One of the primary reasons for clients to use Mediation is that there is no published public record of all of your assets and finances. This can be very important for couples with complex and intricate financial relationships. Both parties still have to disclose to each other their financial situation, but the prying eyes of the public are not involved.
Letting the court mandate payments or lien properties can cause lasting bitterness and resentment that will not help any children or, frankly, the couple from moving on with their lives.
The goal of Spousal Support is to help meet the needs of a spouse or partner after the parties have decided to separate or divorce. Temporary support allows for the party to maintain their lifestyle while the property division is being agreed upon. The higher earning party’s income is compared to that of the lower earning party and an agreement for support is then reached after each person has had an opportunity to review the financials of the other. After the property has been divided a permanent support order is agreed upon, or sometimes no support is necessary, depending upon the property division. All of these can be accomplished through Mediation without going to court.
We have the experience to let you know the pitfalls of taking this private matter to the public. A court will use a logic-based financial approach which may not be good for both parties. Having a rational and fair financial approach through Mediation is the best way to achieve a balance that makes sense. For the short term and the long-range picture.
Child Custody Mediation
One of the most contentious parts of a divorce is child custody. Emotions can run high. In mediation, the parties are in a neutral environment away from the highly stressful and contentious courtroom experience. Each party sits with the mediator to communicate their views of how the timeshare should be arranged. They can meet jointly with the mediator or separately. The parents then work to create the most beneficial parenting plan for the child/children to allow each parent to spend the most time possible with each child. When the parents mutually agree upon the visitation plan the mediator can assist in preparing a custody and visitation agreement.
Child Support Mediation
After a custody has been agreed upon the parties must then determine the support to be provided for the child. Typically a state formula is applied to determine the amount of child support with some exceptions. This issue can result in multiple Court hearings to determine the amount to be paid by the noncustodial parent, often resulting in higher attorney fees than the parties anticipated.
In mediation, the parties are able to sit down with an experienced mediator to understand and discuss the guidelines that are applied to arrive at the support amount. Each parent is asked to complete an Income and Expense form so that the other is fully informed as to the finances of the other. The parents then review the numbers so they can arrive at a mutually agreed upon settlement agreement. In this way, they are able to remain in control of the costs involved and maintain their financial privacy, as opposed to a Court hearing, as they work towards and arrive at the settlement.