Divorce mediation can save time and money—and give spouses more control over the outcome. When both parties are willing and able to communicate, and both are open with the data, it can be a good alternative to a litigated divorce. Mediators handle the divorce mediation process differently. Below we discuss our process and the benefits of working with a financial professional during your divorce.
The Initial Meeting
We begin the mediation process by scheduling an initial meeting with both parties. During the consult, you will meet with a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® to discuss the mediation process and answer questions any questions. We’ll also ask some general questions to help us better understand the case.
You will also receive data gathering packets. These packets include lists of financial records and other documents that will be needed in preparation for the mediation sessions.
Document Review and Individual Meetings
Once the parties submit the financial data, documents and other requested information, a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® reviews the information and schedules a meeting with each spouse. During the individual meetings, we will:
- Review assets and provide financial education. Assets can be valued differently. For instance, pensions, stock options and business valuations can vary. We will discuss these with you, so you have a clearer idea of how assets were valued, and ensure everyone is on the same page about valuations before we get started.
- Discuss goals for mediation. Each party may have different goals and concerns. During the individual meeting, we’ll discuss those with you so we have a better understanding of the outcome that you want.
- Ask about potential obstacles or concerns. We will answer questions you may have about the process. In addition, we will also discuss concerns you have about topics that may come up during mediation or about how your spouse will react to different topics. This helps the mediation process go more smoothly.
- Ensure each person understands what is being negotiated. Not only can assets and liabilities be valued differently, but different assets have different values for future planning. For instance, some assets have tax considerations if they are sold in the future. There are also certain expectations that will be set about what happens if you come to an impasse or need a break so everyone feels more comfortable with what to expect coming into the first meeting.
The number of mediation sessions varies, depending on the complexity of the case and the number of issues to resolve. We recommend keeping each session to 2.5 hours or less. This prevents fatigue—and it also keeps each party from feeling pushed into agreeing to something just to get it done. By having multiple sessions, each party has time to digest the information between sessions.
At the end of each meeting, we will provide detailed summaries of what was discussed as well as outstanding “to-do” items for each party. For instance, you may have to contact an appraiser for the real estate or a spouse may have to confirm information with an employer about a retirement plan.
Once the mediation sessions are completed, we provide a detailed summary of everything that you agreed on. Each of you will take the summary to their legal counsel to review and finalize.
Get in Touch about Divorce Mediation
If you want a mediator that can help you understand, review and divide your financial assets, reach out to Alternative Divorce Solutions. Contact us to schedule your free initial consultation.