The financial and legal nuances of a divorce are some of the most taxing and stressful things that a couple can go through in life. You literally have to cut-in-half the savings and retirements that you’ve both grown during the marriage, evaluate your living options, determine outstanding debts, and grasp with financial uncertainty that awaits ahead.
One of the things I offer prospective clients in my complimentary half-hour consultation is a description of the divorce process. I explain the mandatory financial disclosures that must be exchanged between the parties, the scope of community property law, and the goal of reaching a settlement. Very quickly, the prospective client learns that litigation can rapidly escalate and become extremely expensive, but will likely, in the end be resolved by a settlement.
In a divorce mediation, you and your spouse go through several mediation sessions together, so that you are not each paying an attorney to duplicate your work. Instead, you are paying a neutral mediator to help facilitate each stage of the divorce process and assist you with negotiating a mutually agreed upon settlement.
While divorce mediation isn’t for everyone, it certainly is a viable option for most couples. Below are my Five Reasons Why Divorce Mediation Is Right for You:
- Confidential. Divorce proceedings and all family matters such as custody hearings, child support and spousal support hearings are conducted in a public courtroom with, essentially an audience. Furthermore, declarations and pleadings filed with the court are public records.
The benefit of a divorce mediation is that it is completely private and confidential. No one, except for the mediator and the parties, will know the details of discussions that occur in mediation. Furthermore, nothing said in mediation can thereafter be used for or against an individual in later proceedings, due to the protection of confidentiality in mediation. This allows parties to be forthright with one another to come to a resolution.
- Creative & Flexible. Divorce mediation allows parties to consider creative and flexible solutions, that are otherwise not available to them through litigation, such as creating a payout installment plan, or offsetting portions of a certain asset to compensate the other party elsewhere. With respect to custody and visitation, couples that mediate are far better at addressing their children’s needs, than that of a decision handed by a judge.
An attorney divorce mediator can explain the law and how a judge might rule based on the particular facts, which allows the parties to evaluate their position and consider their options. Once the marital settlement agreement is signed, it is binding and enforceable on the parties.
- Less Stressful. In a divorce mediation, the mediator is a neutral, and does not represent either party, so he or she is not advocating for one party against the wishes of the other. Instead, a divorce mediator will ensure an equal playing field for both parties to allow each party’s concerns be heard.
Another added benefit is that the mediator handles all aspects of document preparation, filing with the court, service of documents on the parties, and drafts the Marital Settlement Agreement. In most cases, you do not ever have to step into a courtroom.
- You know What to Expect. Generally, divorce mediation at Braunstein Law is comprised of 3 or 4 sessions with a signing date at the end. Each mediation session is broken down to address 1) the disclosure of all assets and debts, 2) division of property, 3) custody plans and child support, and 4) spousal support. By working systematically through each topic in sessions, divorce mediation fosters transparency and encourages resolution.
Parties are also afforded the opportunity to seek independent legal advice to review the terms of the Marital Settlement Agreement prior to signing, so neither party is ever left in the dark.
- Cost Effective. This point also goes to items 3 and 4 above. Divorce Mediation at Braunstein Law is a flat fee service, depending on whether or not there are children, and the complexity of assets involved. There is no “retainer” that gets billed against based on e-mail communications, revisions of drafts, etc. After your initial mediation consultation, you will know exactly how much the divorce will cost, and how many sessions it will take to finalize the terms of your divorce. This gives you a certain level of clarity, knowing that you are saving money to rebuild the next chapter of your life.
If you have questions or would like to schedule a complimentary mediation consultation, call us today (858) 603-6473