Divorce Mediation Q&A

Freya’s Financial Facts Regarding Divorce

West Coast Woman

Published October 2006

Questions & Answers About Divorce

Question: My husband says it is over between us. He went to an attorney today. What should I do?

Answer: Keep breathing. It can be an emotional event if you are faced with the reality of a divorce, but just because someone met with an attorney doesn’t mean it is a sign of war. More than likely, he or she is just getting informed; just like you want to be. It is a good idea for you both to become informed and whether or not divorce is imminent, you need to know what your options are. When we think of divorce, often times we think we had better get an attorney. Up until now that was a standard response for many people, but our society is changing. More and more couples are opting to handle their divorce by mediation or collaboration. The law regarding divorce in Florida is relatively straightforward. The biggest challenge most couples have with their divorce, beyond the emotional sting, is with the financial aspects of divorce. A divorce can be one of the most far reaching events of a person’s life. Women want to know they will be okay (secure) especially if there are children involved. Men want to know that they won’t lose everything they have worked for. We can help you both by measuring how you each will move forward financially after the divorce based on different scenarios.

If you are thinking that you would like to settle this in a healthy, amicable way, then mediation, private or otherwise, may be the best option for you. If you want to measure what you are getting and giving in the divorce, we can help you both as a couple or just you as an individual. In some cases, depending on the complexity and personalities we may recommend you see an attorney to get an opinion or to review the final agreement. If yours is a friendly case, it can be done through private mediation at a fraction of the cost and time. We handle cases that range from simple to complex. It is not the complexity of the situation as much as it is the personalities and emotions that cause divorces to be a challenge. We have an excellent working relationship with the Family Law attorneys and are happy to recommend someone to you if yours is one that might be a challenge.

Question: What do I have to gain by using your services?

Answer: Your sanity, your time and your money. Ours is a collaborative divorce process, meaning we treat the family as the client. We talk about and put in place a plan for every phase. How the parties are to conduct themselves during separation, how parenting behavior will affect the children, who pays what bills, when and what to do about the selling or keeping the marital home among other things. We will be honest with you regarding any difficult choices you may be faced with. We will handle the negotiations, organize and provide you with the financial analysis and advice you need to make the decisions affecting your future. We will encourage you and allow you the necessary time and support, including all the resources for you to make those decisions. In short, we will be there every step of the way from start to finish. Regarding children, you will be required to take a parenting seminar as part of the divorce process if you have children together. The damage to children can be significant if either party or both are using the children against the other. I recommend that you take the on line course now. It is an excellent course and will be beneficial to both of you. Go to: www.positiveparentingthroughdivorce.com

Question: Are there any cases you wouldn’t handle?

Answer: Yes, if there is any physical abuse between the parties. If you are being physically abused you need to get help immediately! There are many good resources in our community to assist you. SPARCC has helped many women in crisis. Call 911 to make a report, whether it is related to domestic or child abuse. From there you will be connected with the proper agencies that will assist you. If there is an imbalance of power in a relationship to begin with, mediation is not effective, as the process of mediation requires the give and take of both parties. If there is any domestic violence, I recommend that you seek the assistance of legal counsel for your divorce.

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