What is Divorce Mediation
Divorce mediation takes place when a neutral individual helps a couple discuss undecided divorce issues. It is best used in situations where people are having the same conversations over and over and getting no where.
These repeated conversations, typically happen because you’ve reached the point where you’re no longer able to hear each other. A trained mediator can make sure both people are able to take in what the other is sharing and move the conversation forward to a productive place.
Change is hard. Mediation gives partners the opportunity to work out their differences and know they both did their best to understand and to be fair to the other side. It also allows both parties to feel more positive about the end of their relationship.
If you’re looking for divorce mediation services in Tumwater, look no further than Truce Law.
Leslie E. Beauregard, Attorney
Major benefits of Divorce Mediation
Choosing mediation as a solution gives you:
Mediation is a confidential process. Not only does it take place in private, but your discussions can’t be later used in court.
We charge an hourly rate for mediation and limit sessions to three hours in order to maximize results and control costs.
Leaving major family decisions to the court can make you feel helpless. With divorce mediation you decide the outcome.
What to expect from Divorce Mediation
Why would you choose divorce mediation?
You’re ready to discuss important financial and family issues, but would like an unbiased person to help you work through the details and any sticking points.
How does divorce mediation work?
The mediation process begins with a quick confirmation that both you and spouse are ready to participate and hoping to reach an agreement. In order to discuss the issues, it’s important to have a complete list of finances and important parenting details. In order to ensure we have the proper information at mediation day we’ll email a questionnaire that you’ll complete prior to the session.
Depending on your situation we prefer one of two mediation styles, facilitative or evaluative. A facilitative mediation takes place with everyone present in the same room. The mediators role is to guide the conversation, so the participants work together to create their own solutions.
An evaluative mediator takes more control of the solutions. Often parties are in different rooms and the mediator goes back and forth between the two. The role of the mediator is to act as an expert and provide suggestions based on their experience and legal expertise.
What does divorce mediation cost?
In the majority of our mediations each spouse will pay $525. However, your cost to mediate will depend on how much time you need to mediate. We find that early in the divorce process mediation more than pays for itself when compared to the legal fees that could be spent to resolve the same issues.
In addition to the mediation, additional services can be added on depending on the needs of the family. This often includes services like drafting settlement agreements, quit claim deeds or parenting plans. We typically charge an hourly rate of $350 for document drafting, but also offer flat rates for specific services.
How do I prepare for divorce mediation?
The most important thing you can do to prepare for divorce mediation is to gather information. You should know things like your current credit card debt, the value of your home, and the cost of private school for your son. Information like this is necessary to make big decisions. Your chances of reaching an agreement increase substantially if you have all the information you need to make decisions.
What financial information should I have ready at mediation?
Here are seven pieces of financial information you should have ready at mediation: 1) Real property (i.e. homes, land, rental properties): Make sure to know the current mortgage balance and the current market value.
2) Vehicles (i.e. cars, boats, rvs): Find the current value of the vehicles and the balance of any loans.
3) Bank, Retirement & Investment Accounts: List account values, name of financial institution and last four digits of the account.
4) Credit Cards: Understand the amount of debt, creditor name, last four digits of the account, date the credit card was opened and when the transactions occured.
5) Other major assets (i.e. collectibles, electronics, art): List of major assets, which could be sold for over $1500 along with the date the property was acquired.
6) Other major debts (i.e. student loans, home equity lines of credit): Total amount of debt and when the debt was taken out.
7) Businesses, Partnership and Stock Options: Value of your interest in any business that you own or are a part of. Additionally, value of any stock option that you hold.
What information should parents have ready at mediation?
Here are four pieces of information parents should bring to mediation: 1) Child related costs (i.e. daycare, school, health insurance, extracurriculars, etc.): List the monthly costs for common expenses that you pay today and expect to pay in the future.
2) School Schedules: Write down your child’s weekly schedule, including schooling and activities. Consider what parenting schedule would be best and what activities and programs they will be involved in down the road.
3) Summer & Holiday Schedules: Make a list of holidays plans that are important to you and think about what parenting should look like in the summer.
4) Monthly income of parents: Your most recent tax returns, W-2s and 1099s can be used to calculate child support.
What happens after a successful mediation in divorce?
First, the agreement needs to be put in writing. Most people prefer to use a separation contract to cover the major financial issues. The best part about a separation contract is that it won’t be filed with the court, so your personal information is kept private. If there are children, a parenting plan and child support order will also be prepared.
Second, once the paperwork is ready, you’ll have the opportunity to review the documents with an attorney. It’s important that you feel confident in the settlement you’ve reached. An attorney can give you that peace of mind and make suggestions that will enhance the agreement.
Third, the paperwork will be filed with the court. This might be done by mail or at your local courthouse. The judge will review the paperwork and sign off on the forms, which finalizes the agreement.
Last, you may need to take steps to carry out the contract. For example, you might need to sign a quit claim deed to transfer ownership of a home. The timing and details of those tasks will be included in the separation contract.