The process of divorce isn’t just complicated because it creates a lot of uncomfortable emotions for the people involved. While the stress, sadness, and anger that can emerge during the divorce process can be difficult to manage for some, another important thing to remember is that it’s crucial to ensure you’ve covered all the different elements that you need to think about as a divorce takes place. Using an alternative resolution process like mediation can help minimize the emotional turmoil by avoiding an adversarial process. In mediation, like any process though, parties will need to consider how they’re going to manage child custody and visitation agreements, while others will need to think about how they can address the equitable distribution of debts and assets between both parties.
As a divorce attorney, child custody lawyer, and an experienced mediator, I attempt to offer my clients as many options as possible when it comes to helping them decide how to simplify divorce and prepare for the next stage of their life. Often, mediation can emerge as a less combative solution for coming to decisions about everything from spousal support to asset distribution. Because there are no cemented rules in place for how a mediation should take place, every session I conduct is shaped by the parties that are involved. After all, just as every couple, individual, and family is unique, every mediation session should be one-of-a-kind too.
Making Decisions with Mediation
The dynamics of equitable distribution in divorce mediation process are also customized to the needs of the people involved. For instance, in many cases, I might start by speaking to the couple about whether they have any ideas about how equitable distribution should take place. Some of the parties I speak to already know specifically which assets they want to distribute, and which debts should be kept by which party. Even if you don’t have a complete idea on how to proceed with equitable distribution, there’s a chance that you have a few concepts in mind that you’re particularly passionate about, for instance, who should receive the family home, or who should keep certain personal property.
Of course, you’re not required to have a pre-set idea of your equitable distribution agreement in mind if you want to make the most out of the mediation process. If you don’t know where to get started, my experience as a divorce mediator and matrimonial lawyer means that I can provide plenty of in-depth information about the issues that you might want to address when determining how assets and debts should be fairly distributed between both parties. Importantly, I might draw attention to the fact that just because equitable distribution must be “fair”, that doesn’t necessarily mean that assets will be split on a 50/50 basis. Instead, there are principles in place that generally suggest how different things should be distributed among parties.
While I always recommend that my clients access the help of their own review attorneys when they’re moving through the mediation process, that doesn’t mean that I can’t provide some helpful information from time to time. The difference is that while I’m a third-party who acts as a neutral mediator for both parties involved, a review attorney can give their client advice and help when it comes to making important decisions about their future. For instance, while as a mediator I can remind my clients that they need to consider things like retirement funds, bank accounts, stocks, and bonds, a review attorney can provide more personalized suggestions to clients on which elements they need to fight for the most.