Separating finances during divorce is often contentious. There are expectations by each party about what is fair and right. Often, this leads to adversarial proceedings in the courtroom where each dollar is fought over, often at great cost when attorneys' fees are factored in.
In order to alleviate some of the contention and animosity in dividing property and determining spousal maintenance, many couples turn to mediation. Mediation is an excellent opportunity for a couple and their attorneys to come together and work toward a positive resolution for both parties. In mediation, rather than approach the issue from an adversarial position, the parties discuss and negotiate their options with a focus on the future. A mediator acts as a facilitator, directing the process so that each party is heard.
A mediator is not providing any legal representation. She does not make any of the decisions. Her job is to help you come to a fair agreement. By directing you and your ex-spouse to engage in a meaningful, positive way, she will guide you in reaching your own resolution.
By engaging in mediation to resolve the important financial issues at the end of a marriage, the parties can focus on working toward a constructive result that takes into consideration their concerns. The parties can respectfully discuss such touchy subjects as spousal maintenance and dividing assets and debts. They can settle on tax issues and insurance issues, as well as how to divide real estate holdings and even personal property. This is done with an eye toward an amicable future rather than as an opportunity to rehash the past and settle any scores.
A mediation session consists of the mediator, who has been approved by the parties, and the parties themselves. Attorneys can be present to safeguard their clients' rights, but the discussions are driven by the clients' concerns. The parties will focus on an issue – such as dividing their finances – and will work with each other to create an agreement. One of the attorneys will draft a written agreement to present to the court, which is then reviewed by opposing counsel. That agreement would be approved by the court, and the decisions made during mediation are then part of the divorce judgment.
If you are interested in utilizing mediation as the method of resolving issues in your divorce, contact Kimberly today. She can explain your options to you and work with you to reach your brighter future.