The reality is that there is no one-size fits all divorce. What works for your family may not work for another.
If you have children creating a Parenting Plan as a first step in your separation is vital to a successful transition. Staying focused on your children allows you to start communicating and making decisions within the boundaries of your new relationship.
Normally lack of trust and emotions factor into how detailed the plan should be. The less trust between the parents, the more detailed the plan should be.
It’s important to try to separate the parenting issues from the adult/relationship issues. Parents have a voice, even if it’s one that you don’t like and don’t agree with. Best interests of the children is the foundation of all decisions. The fact that you may not agree on what those decisions should be is ok.
Think about it, if you stayed together you weren’t going to agree on everything. Why would this be any different?
Most people dread completing their financial disclosure as part of their separation but it’s a critical part. Good news! We can help.
You will need to complete the correct forms and prepare your financial plan which will outline how you want to divide your assets and liabilities, decisions regarding your marital home, what the child support will be and help you have a conversation about spousal support if applicable. This is not a nice to have, it’s critical. How do you make informed decisions if you don’t have the information? This doesn’t mean that you can’t negotiate things, it just provides the right starting point for the negotiations. If you can’t negotiate things, your arbitrator or judge will need this.
Financial disclosure gives your agreements staying power! You want to do this once, do it right and move on to your new life.
Creating a divorce transition plan that works for your family is important. There is no right or wrong way to go about that, plans can be as unique as your family.
In mediation your decisions can be documented in what’s called a Memorandum of Understanding; or MoU for short, that can then be used to proceed with your formal separation agreement. This document on it’s own is not legally binding. The purpose is to save you time, money and stress by making the decisions together instead of having an arbitrator or a judge do it for you.
In mediation-arbitration or arbitration you get the added bonus of having a legally binding award at the end of the process. Unless you appeal, you have a decision that you can move forward with.
If you already have a court order, separation agreement or arbitral award stating that you will use arbitration as a process to resolve future issues, you are one step ahead…the choice of process has already been made. Present your case the best you can and the arbitrator will make the decision for you and prepare the award. There is no need to return to court and a prolonged legal battle. Define the process you need in arbitration.
Making positive choices during your separation or divorce is the biggest success factor for how well you and your children handle and remember the transition. Even if the other party is not following your lead, you can still be authentic to you and move forward in a respectful way without regret.
MYTH #1 My lawyer will set my ex straight!
While we fully support you receiving independent legal advice, your lawyer has NO decision making power and can’t force your ex to do anything. They can try to negotiate, write a strongly worded letter or bring a motion before the court.
Only an arbitrator or judge can make a decision that can be enforced on your ex.
MYTH #2 We aren’t on the same page, mediation won’t work.
If you agreed on everything you probably wouldn’t need us. That is literally the role of the mediator to help you get on the same page.
If you only agree on one thing…agree on the process and go from there.