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Divorce Mediation: Tips to Decide Child Custody

Many parents go through mediation in order to get their divorce settled quickly and efficiently. However, one of the worst parts of dividing up everything is figuring out who should get your children and when. In fact, it can really slow a divorce down. However, it doesn’t have to. Here are some tips to help you decide child custody while you are undergoing mediation.

Divorce Mediation: Tips to Decide Child Custody

Think about your children and their needs. Depending on the ages of your children, they may have different needs. If they are babies, they are going to need their mother, especially if she is breastfeeding.

If they are struggling in school, they are going to need the parent who is best able to help them with it. If they are teenage boys, they may need their father to help them negotiate this stage.

Also, think about who has the time. Even if your children need their father, if you work twelve hour days, you aren’t going to be able to spend the time with them that they need. However, you may want to take them on your days off.

If your wife stayed home to raise them until they went to school, you may want to support her so she can continue to do so.

Work together and be flexible. Once you have a child custody and visitation schedule figured out, it doesn’t mean that it can’t change. If you are both willing to work together and be flexible, it can only help your children.

If it is your weekend, but there is a wedding on the other side of the family, you need to be big enough to let them go. They deserve the experience. If you have a week of vacation and you want to spend it with your children, you can only hope that your ex-spouse will allow you to. By being flexible, you are giving your children the best of both worlds.

It can be hard to give up your children, but it is important that you think about them and their needs. You also need to be realistic with your own abilities. You may not be everything that your children need at this time. They may need you more later.

Contact us to help you through this difficult time.

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Tips to Choose the Right Divorce Mediator

Mediation can be a great way for a couple to split up their assets and move on quickly, with less stress and cost. However, in order to do so, you need to choose the right mediator.

Tips to Choose the Right Divorce Mediator

So, how can you make sure that you have the right mediator? Here are some tips to help you find the right one.

Ask your friends and family. Unfortunately, most people know at least one or two people who have gone through a divorce. Some even have probably gone the mediation route so you should start by asking them.

If not, you could always look online. Many people don’t hire anyone without reading reviews, so that is always a good place to start to find a good mediator. However, you can’t place everything on them because one person can’t please everyone. This simply means that everyone is going to have at least one or two bad reviews.

Look for mediators who have gone through cases like yours. If you have children, you are going to want someone who has helped other parents through this difficult time. If you have a lot of money (or hardly any), a mediator who has helped others in similar situations may make the whole process go that much smoother.

You should also choose someone who is trained to deal with conflict. Divorces can get heated (and quickly) so you are going to need someone who is going to be able to keep everything moving even when you hit some of the trickier subjects.

Choosing the right mediator will make a big difference. In fact, the right one can make the whole process go that much smoother. Ask around or look online to find a few options. Then, you need to make sure that they have handled divorces similar to yours.

Contact us to help you through this difficult time.

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How Divorce Mediation Works

Mediation can be a blessing when you are going through a divorce. It is a way to divide up your assets without going through the court system. However, in order for your divorce mediation to be successful, it is important that you understand the process. Below we will discuss how divorce mediation works.

How Divorce Mediation Works

Here is what you should expect if you end up going through mediation for your divorce.

First, both parties need to agree to go through mediation. If one of you doesn’t want to, you will have to go to court to hash out your divorce.

Once you start the process, you will likely to talk to a mediator over the phone. At this time, you can talk about your marriage and family. You will also have this time to talk about any background information that they need, as well as the issues that you are most worried about.

Then, you will have the first meeting. During this time, you and your spouse will get to meet the mediator in person. You may work together or be separated for this first meeting in order to get to the bottom of the divorce. The mediator uses this first meeting to get comfortable with both you and your spouse.

During this time, you may be required to sign a confidentiality agreement.

After your first meeting, you will be able to come up with a schedule that works for both of you. You may want to come in weekly or monthly until you are able to divide everything up. It can take as long as you want, though the longer it takes, the more expensive it will be. For this reason, many like to get their issues resolved in just a few sessions.

In order for mediation to work, both parties have to want it. They have to be ready to go to meetings with the mediator to divide everything up. You can get it done quickly or it could last for months if you want it to.

Contact us to help you through this process.

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Times when Divorce Mediation Works Best

The simple truth is that not all divorces are terrible. There are times when it is a mutual decision to split. When nobody is going after the other person, you might want to try mediation, which can save you time and money.

Times when Divorce Mediation Works Best

However, meditation isn’t for everyone. Here are some times when mediation might be best for everyone involved.

Both parties need to be willing to work together for mediation to work. You won’t get anywhere if neither one of you are willing to negotiate. In fact, you need to go into it knowing that you aren’t going to get everything that you want. By being prepared for this, you are more likely to have a simple divorce that can be solved quickly.

If there are children involved, mediation can help keep the environment less hostile. When parents go through mediation and think about what is best for their children, they are more likely to come out stronger on the other side. They have already worked through some of their issues and are going to be more prepared to co-parent together.

You are not hiding anything when it comes to your finances. Finances are another tough spot when it comes to divorce. It can also be a good reason why some divorces are so drawn out. However, if you both are adult enough to talk about the delicate topics and work through them, mediation would be a great place for you to start.

Mediation can be a great way to get divorced without all of the drama. As long as both parties are determined to work together, it can go quickly and smoothly. You could be divorced quicker than you ever thought possible!

Don’t hesitate to contact us to help you through this difficult time. We will make sure that the process goes as smoothly as possible.

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Divorce Mediation: Things to Split Up

When you decide to get a divorce, trying to divide everything up can feel overwhelming, especially if you aren’t really sure what you need to do. For this reason, it is always a good idea to have a skilled mediator to help you through the process.

Divorce Mediation: Things to Split Up

However, to get started, you are going to need to know about the most common issues that you will need to talk about during your divorce (and through the whole mediation process). These include:

Dividing up your property. Not only will you need to decide who keeps the house and everything in it, you also need to look at your finances. You are going to have to divide up your savings accounts, retirement funds, and much more.

Discuss child custody and visitation. Child custody can be the hardest part of a divorce. Most people don’t want to lose their children. They want them all of the time, even if it isn’t feasible. However, you need to really think about what your children want and need before you decide custody and visitation.

Come up with a good plan for child support. If you aren’t going to be the one who has your children most of the time, you are going to need to help support them. They are your children, and they deserve to live the same way that they did prior to your divorce.

See if you or your spouse is eligible for alimony or spousal support. Alimony and spousal support are often considered the same thing. It is money given to your spouse after your divorce to help him or her get back on his or her feet.

If you have worked so that your spouse could stay home with the children, he or she is still going to need help to continue to do so if you wish. If your spouse was in college and you supported him or her during your marriage, you should consider doing the same afterward. He or she deserves to get the degree that he or she was working so hard for prior to your divorce.

Though you may only think about dividing up your home and splitting up your children, there is a lot of other things that you need to think about during a divorce. You are going to have to split up all of your bank accounts (including your retirement funds). You may also have to consider child or spousal support, depending on your situation.

Contact us to help you through this difficult time.

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Are You a Good Candidate for Online Mediation?

Mediation is a popular alternative dispute resolution tool that allows clients to resolve their disputes informally in a more cost effective and timely manner as opposed to an often lengthy and costly litigation process. Online mediation takes that informal and flexible nature of mediation further, as it is not limited to a geographical reach. All parties involved are able to participate from the comfort of their own chosen location. It is also easier to incorporate online mediation into the hectic day-to-day time constraints most people are navigating. If you see yourself in any of the below mentioned situations, online mediation may be beneficial to you.

Are You a Good Candidate for Online Mediation?

You Are a Busy Professional

If you or your spouse travels or has a stressful work environment, you may find it more helpful to pursue mediation. This prevents either of you taking time away from work to come to mediation sessions, especially when you are already living with the financial strain of ending a marriage.

You Live in Another State

Divorce mediation is made more difficult when one of the spouses has moved far away. You may have been separated for a long time and don’t have the finances or time to come back for the necessary mediation sessions. Online mediation can provide some assistance for people in this situation.

You Are Immobile

Not everybody can easily leave the home, perhaps due to disability or health status. One spouse may be able to make it to an office while the other is at home, connecting to the session via the web.

You Have a High-Conflict Relationship

While mediation is not always right for couples with high levels of conflict, you may be able to undergo online mediation if you feel the process would ease some of the hostility. When you have a professional mediator involved, you may see that he or she can relieve some of the tension.

Virtual mediation offers many benefits you can explore by getting in touch with a professional mediator. Contact us to learn more about mediation and to speak with a professional.

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Tips to Make Mediation Work

Going through a divorce can be a very stressful process and is filled with a broad range of strong emotions. Often, litigating your divorce can escalate that stress and emotional roller coaster. Divorce mediation is a positive alternative to litigation as this alternative dispute resolution method gives all parties an informal venue to work though difficult issues. It further saves all parties involved a significant amount of time and money. In addition to the flexible and client focused nature of the mediation process, parties who have children involved in their divorce often find that mediation allows them to achieve a more positive, successful and most importantly, sustainable co-parenting plan. Mediation does require all parties involved to be active participants in the process in order for a successful outcome. Here are a few tips to help prepare you for entering into the mediation process.

Tips to Make Mediation Work

That being said, it isn’t always easy. Here are some tips to make mediation work:

Go in with an open mind. 

Go in with the understanding that your participation in the process is essential to it being successful. Mediation is not litigation, it’s an informal open communication process that your mediator will guide you through. The mediator will help you identify, understand, discuss, negotiate and resolve all the issues pertaining to your divorce. The goal of the mediator is to assist you in reaching a settlement agreement that both parties find fair and are able to work with. However, the mediator is not representing any party, providing legal advice, or telling any party involved what decisions to make. The mediator will act as the facilitator, while you and your spouse will work together to navigate the process and reach equitable decisions.

Be willing to compromise.

Mediation is not a tool that can work without the understanding that both parties will need to compromise in order for a fair and equitable agreement to be reached. If your determined to approach the process with a right fighting attitude and are unwilling to compromise, you should reconsider using mediation as an option to resolve your dispute.

Take care of yourself during this difficult time.

Take care of yourself emotionally, physically, and mentally during your divorce regardless if you decide to mediate or litigate. Divorce is a difficult event in life and it can take a serious toll on your overall health and well being. The extreme level of stress that is often experienced when going through a divorce can sometimes mean a loss of sleep, not eating properly and a high level of anxiety. Aside from not being good for your overall health, not taking care of yourself can lead to poor judgement when making decisions. Mediation can help reduce your level of stress as it’s non adversarial approach is designed to create a calm and informal environment that allows each party to be heard and participate in an open discussion in order to reach mutual agreements. It’s important to surround yourself with a good support system of family, friends, and if necessary, medical professionals so that you are able to participate fully in your mediation.

Contact us if you believe that mediation is going to be the best for you.

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Tips for Co-Parenting During and After Divorce

Even if you have a contentious relationship with your ex (or soon-to-be ex), you likely understand the importance for your children to have two involved parents. This alone might be enough of a motivating factor to convince you to consider co-parenting peacefully, even in the midst of a divorce.

So, what if you don’t get along with your child’s other parent? These tips will help you get through the divorce process while co-parenting effectively.

Tips for Co-Parenting During and After Divorce

Build Strong Communication Skills

Even if you struggle to communicate about the divorce or the assets involved in separation, you may be willing to compromise when it comes to the children. Communicate clearly with each other without using your child as a mediator or messenger. Decide together if you will communicate via text message, email, or phone. When you do communicate with your ex-spouse, avoid discussing custody, visitation, or child support. Some ex-spouses even go to therapy together to learn stronger communication skills, so you may consider going this route too.

Be Consistent When Possible

One of the best things you can do as co-parents is appear united to your children. You can do this by developing a plan of action and sticking to it. A parenting plan is a great way to establish consistency for your children and your ex-spouse. In your parenting plan, you would be wise to mention everything from how you will exchange custody to what rules and punishments you have in your homes.

Consider Mediation with a Professional

Mediation is available to help you establish boundaries, resolve family disputes, distribute property equitably, and reach agreements in such a way that you minimize any detrimental effects on your children. A professional mediator can walk you through the process to set you up for co-parenting success.

Ultimately, one of the best things you can do is remind yourself why you are doing this: your children. You don’t have to rebuild a strong relationship with your ex-spouse, but you can certainly establish the skills you need to co-parent effectively. Mediation can help. Contact us to learn more.

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With a Good Mediator You Can Divorce Respectfully

Divorcing is hard, especially if you have children. Some look back as years wasted, others see the time as lessons learned. At one time you loved each other, and now perhaps you can’t stand to be in the same room together. This bitterness, resentment, hurt and anger is felt by the children you both love. Before you distress and upset them more than they already are, think about using mediation to resolve your issues.  No one is going to outright win in a divorce. Property and money will have to be divided, child visitation will have to be agreed upon, these are things you know. Why go into a courtroom to fight this out in a public forum? A mediator smooths the way for your children and your future. This salvages a bit of your relationship for your children. They are the ones who will be put in the middle of brooding, disdainful, angry parents. This is parenting at it’s worst.

With a Good Mediator You Can Divorce Respectfully

The Mediator’s Role

  • Define issues
  • Help each side understand the other’s position
  • Move differing parties to resolution

Sounds simple enough, however when tempers are flaring and harsh words are being spoken it is anything but. There may only be one long mediation session, or there may be many meetings with a mediator individually and together. After all, you probably took a while to decide to get married, the dissolution of the marriage may also take some time. The mediator needs to know exactly where each party is coming from, what they want, and how to accomplish that. Mediators do not take sides, that is not their purpose, they see the issue dispassionately and with guidance and negotiation help both sides come to a settlement.

If you are in this situation, contact us to help resolve this painful time of your life.

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Arbitration vs. Litigation

Arbitration is a lot like mediation but it is not the same thing, it is a form of alternative dispute resolution where the power to decide a dispute is given to the arbitrator. The arbitrator is trained in arbitration and its applicable laws. They listen to arguments from both sides and reach a decision that is binding for both parties.

Arbitration vs. Litigation

When compared to litigation, arbitration offers these advantages:

  • Flexibility

An arbitration proceeding can be organized to suit each parties’ needs. The parties can choose the arbitrator or a group of arbitrators to make the decision in their dispute. An arbitrator can be a lawyer but does not have to be. In fact, the parties have the latitude to choose anyone that they can agree upon.

  • Speed

In most cases, arbitration is a much faster process than litigation. Arbitration will usually follow a more compressed and defined timeline when compared to a courtroom proceeding. In addition, arbitrators typically have lighter caseloads. As a result, parties can make their own schedules. Lighter caseloads also mean that arbitrators can come to a final decision in less time.

  • Simplicity

Litigation is a formal procedure that involves a lot of paperwork along with processes like hearings and depositions. Arbitration can be much simpler without many of the aspects that can complicate litigation.

  • Privacy

Arbitration is private, which means that the public will have no access to documents. Decisions will not be disclosed. In comparison, most filings in court proceedings are made public, including verdicts. While the parties can ask for documents to be sealed, whether they are made public or not is up to the judge and most judges rule on the side of keeping things open.

If you are interested in mediation or other forms of dispute resolution, contact us today. We can help you to decide what is your best option.

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