Being a Divorce Attorney with years of experience in the Divorce Courts, I can definitely see the benefits of Divorce Mediation. That is why I received formal training in Divorce Mediation and why I work as a team with another trained Attorney Mediator. I also see the incredible benefits of Custody Mediation for unmarried couples who want to attempt to fashion a workable Parenting Plan.
But is Divorce or Custody Mediation right for you?
1. Do you want to avoid the costs of protracted litigation? If you file right away and refuse mediation, the costs could be high. You will be paying your attorney to attempt to get your way. Your attorney will battle it out with the other attorney and ultimately a judge may have to decide. Also, even if you file straight away, you will be sent to Mandatory Mediation on any issues involving your children. The costs could range between $10,000.00 to $30,000.00 if you are lucky.
2. Do you have any common goals which could form a starting point in Divorce Mediation? Can you at least agree that you don’t want to end up lifelong enemies and that you want to reach some sort of agreement out of court to avoid all the potential bitterness and acrimony?
3. Can you agree that you want to share decision making regarding the children on religion, education, non-emergency medical matters and extra-curricular activities?
4. Can you agree to iron out your differences as to a potential parenting schedule and who will be designated residential parent for school purposes with your mediator?
5. Can you agree to disclose what you have in the bank and in your retirement accounts to each other and try to mediate how you will divide those accounts upon the split?
6. Are you willing to mediate the issue of “the house or condo” no matter how painful the subject is? Someone has to leave. Someone has to stay or can you mediate whether and how to sell?
7. Are you willing to lay all of your cards on the table including your credit card debt, how much you owe and what you purchased and have a serious discussion as to how those debts will be paid?
If you answered yes to all or most of the above you are a candidate for Divorce or Custody Mediation!