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What Should You Expect From Divorce Mediation?

If you’re in the initial stages of the divorce process, you may be preparing for a drawn-out conflict with painful emotional consequences. Although divorce is always a difficult life event, mediation can make a world of difference by helping both parties reach mutual understanding. Online mediation is a convenient tool that provides an alternative to letting the courts make sensitive decisions for your family. The benefits of mediation can save the divorcing couple a substantial amount of time, money, and stress. Here’s what you should expect from the mediation process.

What Should You Expect From Divorce Mediation?

The Mediator Will Not Make Decisions For You

Your mediator is a neutral third party that guides the conversation to a productive conclusion everyone can live with. Unlike a judge or arbiter, the mediator does not make any decisions on behalf of you or your spouse. The mediator’s role is only to provide a helpful structure to the conversation. They can reduce tension, facilitate open communication, and move the negotiations along. Mediators will often use methods to help each spouse express their point of view clearly. Being able to understand the other person’s perspective is crucial for finding common ground and a long term resolution.

The Goals of Mediation

Making hard decisions with the guidance of a neutral party reduces conflict. Instead of letting the courts decide, a successful mediation offers divorcing couples a cost-effective opportunity to resolve disputes. More importantly, the mediation process can reduce the negative emotional fallout of the divorce process, especially if children are involved. Going forward, you will be able to use the terms established during your mediation to guide future discussions.

Issues Discussed During Mediation

During the initial stage of mediation, both parties will have a chance to list concerns. The mediator will address them systematically, making sure that each side is heard. Be prepared to talk about every aspect of your legal separation, including the division of assets and decisions about custody or child residency. Prepare for your mediation session by making sure you have a full list of relevant documents, such as information about assets, debts, income, childcare costs, mortgage or car payments, and major expenses.

Contact me to learn much more about how mediation can improve the divorce process.

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Getting Divorced? What are the First Steps To Take?

Divorce is often messy and complicated. Making the decision is often scary and uncomfortable, especially when you have to tell the other person. Whether you have told your spouse or not, there are some things that you need to do right away when you are getting divorced.

Getting Divorced? What are the First Steps To Take?

Some of the first steps that you need to take in a divorce include:

Talk to a lawyer. The first thing that you should do when considering a divorce is to talk to a divorce lawyer. He or she will help you get through this difficult time, by outlining the steps that you will have to take. He or she will also prepare you for what is going to happen every step of the way.

Determine what is going to happen during the divorce. Divorce doesn’t just happen. In fact, many cases take months or even years to get through. Because of this, you need to decide what is going to happen with you and your ex during that time. Is one of you going to stay at the family home with the children until the divorce is final? Are you going to sell the home right away so you can both afford to find a new place to live? How are you going to communicate with each other during this time? Can you be civil to each other and talk about the children, or will you need to talk through a third-party?

Gather paperwork. Before you can even start to divide up your assets, you have to figure out what they are. This often takes time. Not only do you need to talk about your checking and savings accounts, but you also have to consider the home, any retirement funds, pension, and everything else that you own that has value.

The first thing that you need to do when you decide that divorce is your only option is to talk to a lawyer. He or she will help you through the entire process. You also need to determine what is going to happen while you are going through the divorce. Are you both going to continue to live in the home? Are you both going to move out? What are you going to do about the children?

Then, you have to start gathering all of your paperwork together. You need to come up with all of your assets so that you are able to split them up as fairly as possible.

Don’t hesitate to contact us today. We will help you through the whole process.

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4 Big Benefits of the Divorce Mediation Process

Going through a divorce is stressful, but there are ways to make it easier. Among those ways is to hire a mediator who can help divorcing partners communicate with one other. This can often prevent lengthy — and expensive — court battles, and can keep the divorce as amicable as possible. But is mediation right for your situation? What kinds of benefits can you really get from this type of dispute resolution? Here are four of the biggest benefits you and your spouse may see from the divorce mediation process.

4 Big Benefits of the Divorce Mediation Process

1. An Equitable Division of Property

Making sure property is divided fairly can be difficult during a divorce. Especially if there is a lot of animosity, one spouse may try to keep the other one from getting the house, cars, money, or other assets. The mediation process can help both spouses work through these problems, so property really is divided fairly. Even if the partners don’t always agree, or like the agreement they come to, they can recognize that the agreement is fair to both of them.

2. Agreements on Custody and Support

Agreeing on child support and custody matters can be one of the most contentious issues for any divorcing couple. With good mediation services, both partners can work through their disagreements so they are able to come to terms that are best for their children. Putting kids first is something most parents want to do, but during a divorce it can be harder to let grievances against the other partner go long enough to see what’s truly right for the children.

3. Family Relationships That Stay Stronger

A divorce ends a legal relationship, but there may be much more to the issue than just the legalities of it. The well-being of young children, long-time friendships, good relationships with in-laws, business dealings, and other areas of life can be disrupted when a couple decides on a divorce. With mediation services, both partners can work together more easily, even if they don’t always agree or don’t even like one another anymore. Reducing anger and fighting between the divorcing partners can make maintaining other family relationships less stressful.

4. Fewer Detrimental Effects, Overall

A family’s assets, time, emotional health, and other issues can all be affected by divorce. When a legal mediation process is undertaken, the overall detriment to the family is reduced. That can mean better emotional and mental health, more money left for expenses, and happier people who can handle life’s issues more easily. Mediation doesn’t guarantee an easy time during a divorce, but it provides the opportunity for separating couples to address issues in ways that can make things easier for everyone involved.

For couples who aren’t sure about the process of divorce, or who can’t agree on many of the issues surrounding it, mediation can be the right answer. Exploring that option is an excellent way to take some of the stress and difficulty out of an already uncomfortable time. With some effort, couples can come to terms that they agree on, and move forward in as healthy of a way as possible.

Ready to see if mediation is right for your divorce situation? Contact me, and we can talk about the process, the goals, and your next steps.

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Divorce Mediator: Tips to Decide Child Custody

One of the hardest parts of divorce is determining exactly who should have your children and when. Nobody wants to feel like they are losing their children just because their marriage didn’t work out.

However, if you decide to go through mediation, it is important that you bring a clear head. You need to work together to figure out what is best for your children, or you will end up in court.

Here are some tips to determine child custody during mediation.

Divorce Mediator: Tips to Decide Child Custody

It is important that you think about who they spend more time with. In most families, responsibilities are split between a couple. That is also true for children. However, when determining who should have the children and when you really need to look at yourself and your spouse. Who helps them with their homework every night? Who makes sure that they get baths and eats right? Who practices sports with them?

This being said, you both have your own time with your children so your custody arrangement should show that. If you are the one who gets them up for school and on the bus, you probably should have the children during the week. If you play sports with them on the weekends, it makes more sense for you to have them on the weekends.

And who has the time for them. Everyone has to work, so it is important to realize when you have time for your children. If you work fourteen-hour days, they might be better off with your spouse during the week. If you work weekends, there is no point in hiring a babysitter when they could just stay with your spouse during that time.

Though you may not want to give up your children, you need to take a hard look at your life. You need to figure out who does what with them and when you each have time for the children. This can be hard to do, but it is in the best interest of your children!

Contact us for all of your legal needs. We will help you come to the best agreement for you and your children.

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Why Divorce Mediation Might be the Best Strategy for Your Marriage

When a marriage isn’t working, it can affect everyone involved very negatively. In some cases, it is better for everyone if the relationship is ended amicably so that each side has the opportunity to get past the problems they’ve experienced as a result of the relationship. Many couples find themselves in a situation in which a clean break is difficult to achieve, and for people with children or complicated financial situations, long-lasting damage can occur in traditional divorce proceedings. It doesn’t have to be this complicated, and those who desire to begin the process of separating from their spouse, while still maintaining a healthy level of communication, should appreciate what the mediation process has to offer.

Why Divorce Mediation Might be the Best Strategy for Your Marriage

The Shortcomings of Traditional Methods of Divorce

Many people who decide that they wish to separate from their spouse, might find a lawyer and begin the divorce process as quickly as possible so that they can just get on with their lives. This is not always the best course of action, as it creates a situation where both sides are represented by someone who’s only concern is to deliver the most valuable outcome to their client, and after cases are made by both parties, their lives are ultimately split up based on a decision made by a Judge. Such an impersonal process can often exacerbate the situation and may ultimately cause a lot more animosity than necessary. Marriage is an extremely personal relationship and it would make sense that any attempt to repair or end one should be handled in a personal manner. Allowing a third party to dictate the terms of a divorce may not be the best way for everyone to deal with something like this, which is why it is important that every resource available to a married couple is explored.

The Value of the Mediation Process

Many of the weaknesses found with the traditional methods of divorce are actually the greatest strengths of mediation. When you and your spouse begin this process, you will be guided by a trained professional and by a mutual understanding to respect one another and maintain civility so that the best possible situation can be planned for and attained. When both parties are able to work through their relationship issues as a cooperative and are less inclined to see each other as enemies, they may begin to see the value of working with each other in a more personal and genuine fashion. A struggling marriage is hard enough to deal with, and people are considering divorce should look into this process if they desire to work on an ongoing relationship or end things on relatively good terms, be it for the well being of themselves, their children, or anything else impacted by their relationship. If this process sounds like it would be beneficial to you and your relationship with your spouse, or if you have any questions about mediation please do not hesitate to contact us.

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Beyond Divorce: Online Mediation For Extended Family Issues

Many people instantly think of divorce when they hear the word mediation. But there are other reasons to seek mediation. If you’re a member of the “sandwich generation” caught between your aging parents and your own children or grandchildren, online mediation may be beneficial for you. Here are three reasons to use online mediation for extended family issues.

Beyond Divorce: Online Mediation For Extended Family Issues

Reduce arguments

Your aging mother wishes to remain in her home until her death. You believe it’s unsafe for her to live alone, but you can’t take her in. Your sister wants to put her in a nursing home. Your brother thinks she should be allowed to live at home if she wants. The four of you could argue over this until your mother’s passing, but what good is that?

Online mediation gives you a neutral, unbiased third party to help navigate the discussion. Your mediator will hear all sides, and try to find the common ground between you and areas where you can compromise. Your mediator will also keep everyone on track and bring the discussion back to the point if you start going off on unrelated tangents.

Make sure everything is covered

When you first realize that it’s not safe for your mother to live alone, you might seek mediation to try to convince everyone that she needs a full-time caregiver or to go into a nursing home. But the situation is much more complex than that. You need to think about things like health and medical care, living expenses, end of life measures, what to do with the property she owns, and more.

Many families don’t immediately think of all the related concerns. An online mediator will help to ensure that you cover all the bases so that nothing is left to chance or completely ignored. Probate matters, guardianship, and finances are just a few of the things that can be handled through online mediation.

Involve the whole family

There was a time when entire families were born and died in the same town for generations. Today, though, families are scattered throughout the country and across the world. But distance should not be a reason that a loved one isn’t included in the decision making process. Online mediation is an ideal way of ensuring that all the family members who need or want a say in how a relative is cared for can be involved.

Online mediation allows you to schedule mediation that’s convenient for everyone and doesn’t require anyone to travel. It can also be helpful if you have small children and no childcare available. It can also provide a buffer if one or more parties doesn’t get along well.

Online mediation isn’t just for couples splitting up custody and property. Mediation allows entire families to have a respectful discussion and take action to care for a loved one. It allows you to make life-altering decisions without destroying the fabric of your family. Contact us today to schedule your online mediation appointment.

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Avoiding Conflict During Divorce with Mediation Part II

Going through a divorce is downright difficult. Most people go through many emotions, often one after another. Some days are going to be filled with sadness, while others are filled with anger. Because of this, many go through mediation instead of court. Here are some more tips to help you avoid conflict through mediation.

Avoiding Conflict During Divorce with Mediation Part II

You can’t go into mediation ready for battle. Many people going through divorce are out to get their ex-spouse. They want to take them for everything that they got (and then some). They might fight over every little item (even things that they never cared about before the divorce) because they want to punish him or her. If you go into mediation with this attitude, it is never going to work. You might as well go to court.

You need to be prepared to make compromises. You need to go into mediation knowing that you aren’t going to get everything that you want. You are going to have to work with your ex in order to divide up your assets.

Because of this, you need to know what you want, what would be nice, and what you don’t care about. Going into mediation, you need to know what your deal breakers are. What do you have to have? What can you compromise about? This will help get the talks started.

Even though you may want to go through mediation to avoid conflict and the court system, it is important to know that there are going to be times when conflict arises. You can’t go into mediation ready for a fight. Instead, you should take the time to figure out what you have to have and what you are willing to compromise on. This will really help things go smoother.

Contact us for all of your legal needs. We will help you get through this difficult time.

Tags: Mediation
Categories: Blog

Avoiding Conflict During Divorce with Mediation

Getting divorced may be one of the hardest things that you have ever done. In fact, you may be filled with many different emotions, one right after another. There are going to be days when you are so sad because of your loss and other days when all you feel is hate. Because of these emotions, many people turn to mediation to avoid fighting in court. Here are some tips to help you avoid conflict through mediation.Avoiding Conflict During Divorce with Mediation

Going into mediation, you need to know that there are going to be times when there is going to be conflict. Just because you are getting divorced and have decided to go through mediation doesn’t mean that your divorce is magically going to happen. You are not going to be able to compromise on every point. There are going to be some issues on which you are going to have to take some extra time to come up with a settlement that works for both of you.

Unfortunately, there are one or two things that can halt a divorce quickly. That usually involves children, and it can drag out the process for months (or even years).

Though it may not feel like it, it is essential that you take care of yourself during this process. If you are eating well and getting as much sleep as you can, you are going to start to feel better sooner. It may also help to find people that you can lean on during this challenging time.

By taking care of yourself, you are going to be calmer during the whole mediation process, cutting back on conflict. You are going to have a clearer head and may not be out for revenge.

Even though you may want to go through mediation to avoid conflict and the court system, it is important to know that there are going to be times when conflict arises. Some points are going to be easily solved, while others are going to be much more complicated. One thing that most people forget about during a divorce is to take care of themselves. If you are not eating well and getting enough sleep, you are going to struggle even more. Go outside and take walks to clear your head. Go to bed early so that you are ready for mediation the next day.

Contact us for all of your legal needs. We will help you get through this difficult time.

Tags: Mediation
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Should You Use an Online Mediator for your Divorce?

If you don’t want to end up in court, you may be looking at divorce mediation. Since we live in a technical age, more and more people turn to an online mediator instead of meeting up with one in person. You may be wondering if you should use an online mediator. Here are some benefits that you may find when you use an online mediator.

Should You Use an Online Mediator for your Divorce?

Online mediation is fast. Most people are able to schedule an online mediation appointment within a week. At the first meeting, a mediator will help you decide what you need to split up so you can start figuring out how you want to do so.

Mediation costs a lot less than litigation. Though you will spend some money on lawyers and possibly a mediator, it can cost a lot more to go through court. In fact, many people say that getting divorced can cost around ten thousand dollars (or even more), depending on how long you fight it out in court.

Mediation is a lot better for your relationship than battling it out in court. If you have children, you are going to be in your spouse’s life for the rest of yours. Nasty divorces can make raising children together very hard. If you go through mediation, you are going to learn how to compromise with your spouse, and you can use these skills throughout the rest of your parenting life together.

You don’t have to be in the same room (or even location) as your spouse. Online mediation often works best because you don’t have to be near your spouse as you decide how you want to divide up your possessions. You can be in separate lawyer’s office, different homes, or any location where you can have privacy and an internet connection.

If you are trying to decide whether or not you want to try online mediation, you definitely should. It is a lot cheaper than going to court, plus you can salvage some of your relationships by learning how to work together and compromise.

Contact us to help you get through this difficult time in your life.

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Mediation, or how to end your divorce in the best possible terms.

Divorce is never easy. You’re undoing joint finances, splitting time with children, dividing your possessions, and most importantly, accepting that a relationship that you once hoped would last forever has ended.

The American Psychological Association calculates divorce rates in the United States between 40 and 50%. A study by the University of Maryland – College Park shows higher divorce rates among couples above 45 years of age. As we get older, change becomes a more daunting possibility.

Mediation, or how to end your divorce in the best possible terms.

We are used to the stories of traumatic divorces, the news of bitter disputes and the images of children in movies having to decide in family court which parent they will live with. Many people cringe at that image of divorce, and others might rather stay in an unhappy marriage than put their families and children through the process.

If you’re considering divorce, you should know this doesn’t have to be the way it goes. Do you believe your marriage is over but want to remain friends after the divorce? Do you want to set up an example for your children about how to successfully manage conflict? Mediation is an option for divorcing couples that allow for an easier transition for everyone involved. It keeps everyone out of family court and gives divorcing couples a voice in what they want at the end of the relationship.

Mediation takes the guessing out of divorcing and guarantees that no decisions will be made outside of the divorcing couple’s wishes. It creates room for greater equality in dividing assets and ensures no spouse receives special treatment. Mediation is also confidential, so if you are concerned about what your family, friends, and employers might say or think about you during a divorce process, mediation could be an alternative for you.

Not every couple can go through their divorce process through mediation. When issues like violence and intimidation are part of the reasons for the divorce, mediation is not recommended. Before starting a mediation process, both parties should be very honest with themselves and each other about their ability to stay respectful and open-minded as the process goes on. Anything that threatens open communication will get in the way of a successful mediation.

If you’re wondering if mediation is for you, think about this: you once loved the person you’re divorcing. You may even have children with him or her. Once upon a time, that person might have been your best friend.

Wouldn’t you want your children to see both of their parents happy? Move on with your life without regrets or resentments against the person you once shared a life with? Be genuinely happy for their successes later on?

If the answer to any of those questions is yes, mediation might be for you. Let’s find out together. 

Works Cited

American Psychological Association. “Marriage and Divorce.” Https://www.apa.org, www.apa.org/topics/divorce/. Accessed 11 June 2019.

Miller, Ryan W. “Add Divorce to the List of Things Millennials Are Killing.” USA TODAY, 26 Sept. 2018, www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/09/26/millennials-blame-lower-us-divorce-rate-study/1429494002/. Accessed 11 June 2019.

Thompson, Ph.D., Jeff. “Stories Mediators Tell.” Psychology Today, 17 Sept. 2012, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/beyond-words/201209/stories-mediators-tell. Accessed 11 June 2019.

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