Meeting With a Divorce Mediator: 5 Important Questions to Ask

Uncontested Divorce Mediation

Posted June 13, 2018

When divorcing spouses sit down with a neutral third party such as a divorce attorney in order to resolve the issues in their divorce, it can be overwhelming. You may have many questions running through your mind, and need some help organizing your thoughts. Or, you may not know what to ask at all. This is where a Chicago divorce mediator comes in. It is important to remember that a divorce mediator is different than a divorce attorney in that he or she will never take sides. It is not uncommon for a couple to meet with a mediator as well as a divorce attorney. Whatever the reason for the divorce may be, you want to go into your divorce mediation session fully prepared in order to get an outcome that everyone can agree on. Below, we’ll take a look at some important questions to ask your divorce mediator so that you can have the most effective session possible.

How Do We Handle The Division Of Our Investments And Retirement Assets?

chicago divorce attorneyThis is one of the most important factors to consider in a divorce, particularly when one spouse was the primary wage earner, or if one spouse earned significantly more than the other. Go into the session with the Chicago divorce mediator being educated on the stock options and other types of employee incentive plans that you or your spouse may have, and get advice on the market risk of your assessments before the mediation process. If you and your spouse have a portfolio of investments, make sure you fully understand the make-up of the assets and the background on some of the stocks and funds. Keep in mind that high-risk investments can be dangerous if the market takes a turn for the worse and that some investments can be worth very little at the present time, yet be highly lucrative in the future. Make sure you are completely comfortable with how you divide these vital investments and assets. Perhaps you’d like to speak with your divorce attorney regarding these financial issues before going into the mediation session.

How Can You Make A Divorce As Fair As Possible?

In a perfect world, every divorce would be easy to negotiate, and therefore as fair as possible. Couples would not need a divorce attorney or divorce mediator to intervene. Unfortunately, this is not the case. It can take a lot of discussions before reaching an agreement that everyone can agree upon. Some of the points that need to be discussed with a divorce mediator are:

  • Alimony, maintenance, spousal support, and spousal maintenance (if applicable)
  • Division of all marital assets as well as liabilities and determining which assets are considered either the couple’s marital property or a spouse’s individual property.

During a divorce, there can be a lot of interpretation as to what is fair. Divorce mediators work with couples in a fair manner by paying close attention to the balance of power between the spouses. Keep in mind that the mediation process allows divorcing spouses to negotiate an agreement that considers non-legal factors, so the outcome is more likely to appeal to each person involved. In mediation, the spouses stand up for themselves and are able to voice their needs and wants, and concerns regarding the separation. In this way, divorce mediators are able to help people come out of a divorce with agreements they can live with. This differs significantly from the result of a divorce attorney, who deals with the legal aspects of the separation.

How Do We Handle Custody And Child Support?

In the state of Colorado, the term “parental responsibility” is used. The best interest of the children is most important. Divorce mediators understand that the suffering of the children should be kept to a minimum. They will help the spouses negotiate an agreement regarding time spent with the children as well as child support that is right for everyone involved. Divorce is extremely difficult for children, and a mediator will help the parents make it go as smoothly as possible for the children. Remember that the parents, not the mediator, make the decision. Unlike meeting with a divorce attorney, no result is imposed on a disagreeing parent. A Chicago divorce mediator focuses on effective communication between the spouses so that they can exchange views and information on what each parent feels is appropriate for the children, and also learn how to assess their financial situation to provide for their children’s needs.

How Do You Handle High Conflict Issues?

Divorce mediators are able to offer practical guidance and innovative solutions regarding high conflict issues in a divorce. There can be many reasons for conflicts. Maybe one spouse simply can’t forgive the other for whatever broke up the marriage. Or, perhaps there were financial issues that one of the spouses is blaming the other for. By honestly and openly identifying the conflicting issues, a mediator can find a way to reduce or manage the problem. Mediation is not an aggressive process and is extremely effective in handling high conflicts in order to reach the best resolution. Conversely, a divorce attorney represents only one person and does not look out for the interests of both parties. By utilizing practical solutions, having a non-adversarial process, and most importantly, by having impartiality, the mediator assists the spouses in managing conflicts so that the agreed upon settlement works for the long-term.

What Is Unique When The Couple Has A Larger Estate To Split?

Couples who are divorcing usually need to revise their estate plans. When a large estate is involved, it can get tricky, but rest assured, it is not impossible to accomplish the split of a large estate. The divorce mediator or divorce attorney will help the couple in preparing a complete list of assets. To make a list that is honest and fair, you must take into consideration the home or any joint property, all vehicles, bank accounts, securities, valuable collections, household items, and retirement plans. Along with the Chicago divorce mediator, discuss what was brought into the marriage by each spouse, and what was acquired together during the marriage. With larger assets, the division process often involves selling the asset and splitting the proceeds. In other cases, a couple may hold onto a piece of real estate or other assets after the divorce, until the value reaches a certain point. An experienced divorce mediator will keep everyone’s best interest in mind and ensure that everyone’s rights are well protected. If a couple decides that sharing assets after a divorce in the case of a large estate is the right choice for them, a divorce attorney can help can help the spouses create a separation agreement that includes provisions for the terms and conditions that both parties will follow.

A Chicago divorce mediator can help make the difficult processes of dissolving a marriage much easier. For more information, visit today.

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