Mediation or Collaborative Divorce
Why choose Mediation or Collaborative Divorce?
You are taking steps to make a foundational change in your life: divorce. You may be feeling many emotions: sad, frightened, anxious, angry, even hopeful. You may be worried about what your future single life will look like, feel like. If you have children, you are undoubtedly concerned about them and how they will weather this big transition in their lives. You want them to be ok, and more than ok -- thriving. And you want that for yourself.
Clients often ask us how long their divorce will take, and how much it will cost. While there are many factors that determine the time and expense of divorce, including the complexity of the finances and other issues, we know from decades of experience that the single most important factor in how smoothly your divorce progresses is how well you and your spouse work together.
This does not mean you must be amicable, or have resolved issues in advance of the process. Many high conflict couples are able to negotiate to fair and workable solutions.
What working well with your spouse does mean is making a commitment to work together with honesty, respect, and understanding.
Ask yourself the following questions to determine whether Mediation or Collaborative Divorce can work for you:
- Do you want a fair and workable outcome not only for yourself, but also for your spouse?
- Can you work in good faith, without manipulating or controlling your spouse?
- Are you willing to hear, and understand, your spouse, even if you don’t agree?
- Are you willing to agree to disagree?
- Are you willing to explore multiple options to reach your goals?
- Is it important to you to preserve family and social relationships?
- Is it important to you to model respectful behavior for your children?
- Are you comfortable and willing to share information about your earnings, assets and debts in the process?
- Would you prefer to work on the issues with your spouse, with the support of team professionals, or have a judge make the decisions for you?
In either Mediation or Collaborative Divorce, here are some of the areas we will work on together:
- Parenting Plans
- Division of Asset and Debts
- Retirement Security
- Cash Flow
- Spousal Support
- Child Support
- Health Insurance
- Tax Considerations
- Unique Considerations for Same-Sex Couples
We can also help you by preparing:
- Continue your marriage with a clear understanding of financial and lifestyle issues, and what happens in the event of divorce or death
- Work together to reach a legally-binding agreement addressing your ongoing concerns during the marriage
- Clarify legal aspects of your partnership during the relationship, or upon the dissolution of the partnership, with a legally binding agreement. For example, an unmarried couple may want to clarify issues related to real estate or common children in the event one party dies or you and your partner separate.
Post-Divorce Modification Agreements
- Return to the Mediation or Collaborative process if you and your former spouse would like to discuss changes to your divorce settlement agreement. Common modifications center around cash flow issues and parenting concerns.
Review Counsel for Mediated Settlement Agreements
- We offer legal support as review counsel during the Mediation process
- You may consult with legal counsel on an “as-needed” basis before, during or after the Mediation process. Occasionally review counsel will attend a Mediation session and/or speak with your spouse’s review counsel but generally such legal counsel will communicate only with you as needed.
Uncontested Divorce Papers
- Once you have reached settlement and signed your agreement, we will draft and file in court the legal papers necessary for a no-fault uncontested divorce.
- No court appearance necessary for uncontested divorce.