As a professional family mediator, I’m here to explain how financial mediation works in the divorce process. Financial mediation is a valuable tool that helps divorcing couples reach mutually agreeable solutions regarding their financial matters, such as property division, assets, debts, and spousal support. My goal is to create a supportive and constructive environment where both parties can openly communicate and work together to find fair and practical solutions. Here’s an overview of the process:
The first step of our mediation process is meeting with the couple in a joint consultation. During this meeting, I’ll explain the mediation process, its benefits, and discuss the confidential and neutral nature of the mediation sessions. We will cover our fees and help the couple determine which flat fee package makes the most sense for their situation. We will also cover any costs associated with the process with the courts.
Preliminary Planning Session
The second stage in the process involves meeting with both spouses separately for an initial Preliminary Planning Session (PPS). This is an opportunity for each spouse to express their concerns and goals for the mediation.
Gathering Financial Information
Once both parties agree to proceed with mediation, the next step is to gather all relevant financial information. This includes assets, liabilities, income, expenses, and any other pertinent financial details. Full disclosure and transparency are essential to ensure an accurate and fair assessment of the financial situation.
Joint Mediation Sessions
In the subsequent joint mediation sessions, both spouses and I will meet to discuss and negotiate the financial issues. As a neutral mediator, I will facilitate the discussions, encourage effective communication, and guide the couple towards finding common ground.
Identifying Interests and Priorities
Throughout the mediation process, I will help the couple identify their individual interests and priorities. Understanding what is most important to each party will assist in crafting creative solutions that meet both their needs.
In financial mediation, we explore various options for resolving financial matters. These may include dividing assets equitably, determining child and spousal support, and addressing debt distribution. Together, we’ll examine the potential outcomes of different solutions to make informed decisions.
Drafting the Agreement
Once the couple reaches agreements on financial matters, I will assist in drafting a comprehensive and legally binding mediation agreement. It is essential to ensure that the agreement addresses all aspects of the financial settlement and is following relevant laws and regulations.
Legal Review and Finalization
The mediation agreement is then typically reviewed by the couple’s respective attorneys to ensure that their rights are protected, and that the agreement aligns with their best interests. After any necessary revisions, the agreement is signed, and the divorce process can proceed accordingly.
Financial mediation offers a less adversarial and cost-effective alternative to litigation, allowing couples to maintain control over their decisions and reach outcomes that suit their unique circumstances. As a family mediator, my role is to facilitate a positive and productive dialogue, ensuring both parties feel heard and empowered to make informed choices throughout the process. My aim is to help the couple transition into the next chapter of their lives with greater understanding and cooperation.
Financial issues during divorce (and the accompanying stress) can be overwhelming. Questions around spousal support, child support, income, and debt division can induce stress and insecurity. To address complex financial challenges that families face during transitions, our experienced mediators foster productive discussions, helping parties reach fair and lasting agreements. Gain clarity and take control of your financial future. Schedule a consultation with a WCFMC mediator now.
by: Jennifer Segura