Visit Our Main Website
Tag Cloud50/50 custody ask the right questions baby boomers getting divorced children Child Support Child Support Calculators Child Support Guidelines courtroom behavior custody dating Divorce divorce court divorce over 50 divorce support groups facebook financial planner forgiveness getting started gray divorce grey divorce hiring a divorce attorney letting go limited scope representation Litigation losing custody making divorce affordable Mediation mediaton mother's day mourning your marriage Moving on parenting Preparing for divorce social media social network survive and thrive Telling the kids twitter
Category Archives: Divorce Mediation
Mediation and the Children Using mediation can be an effective alternative to long drawn out divorce litigation, especially when it comes to matters involving the children. Parents are given the chance to work together and create a parenting plan that … Continue reading
Sometimes the divorce decree is not the final stop for divorcing spouses, and clients need Post-Divorce Mediation. While this may feel like a setback, it is actually pretty common. So, what are the reasons that already-divorced couples go to mediation? … Continue reading
I was recently invited to collaborate on an expert panel and share some insights on how cope with divorce. Here are my best tips: When in the throes of a divorce or separation, the big question is often, “How am … Continue reading
I was recently invited to collaborate on an expert panel and share some insights on how to prepare for divorce and keep it peaceful. Here are my best tips: The first tip I would offer would be to do some … Continue reading
Sometimes during and after a divorce, people find themselves facing a task that the other spouse always handled. For example, the person who never paid the bills has to open new credit cards or refinance the house. Or the person … Continue reading
With Thanksgiving upon us, divorced or divorcing families are now thinking about how they are going to spend and share the holidays this year. Which house? Who gets the kids? Who buys which gifts? At Westfield Mediation, LLC, our divorce … Continue reading
The rate of divorce among couples over the age of 50 has increased dramatically in the past 30 years, and the trend is expected to continue. For those over 50 getting a divorce retirement planning is in the forefront of … Continue reading
Can You Afford to Get Divorced? Westfield Mediation, LLC ©Copyright 2014 There are really two parts to the question — “Can you afford to get divorced?” One, can you afford to go through the process of separating from your spouse … Continue reading
By Dr. Lynne C. Halem, Centre for Mediation & Dispute Resolution
The media is endlessly fascinated by the divorces of couples with long-term marriages. From Maria Shiver and Arnold Schwarzenegger and Al and Tipper Gore, the celebrity divorced set, to demographers’ estimation of the significant increase in divorce and separation among the general population of those in the fifty-plus age bracket, the stories keep coming. In part the fascination is related to the breakup of long-term marriages. People wonder why, after so many years of living together, individuals would even bother to divorce. Adult children are among the most vocal, perplexed and often angry, they decry their parents divvying up of assets after forty years of marriage. Why now, they ask? What’s the point? And, too, are we now responsible for taking care of mom? Of dad? Others, more detached from the actual divorce, worry on a national level about the increase in the elderly population living alone with assets and income already diminished by divorce.
We, too, at the Centre for Mediation and Dispute Resolution, are witnessing a rather dramatic surge in baby boomers and even older individuals who are now seeking divorce. Since mediation does not, and should not, delve into the reasons for a marital dissolution, we cannot shed any light on the causations of this trend or, in fact, help to explore its implications for society or for the delivery of social services to the elderly with diminished resources and no partners, as caretakers. Our focus is different. We, as mediators, need to consider the financial needs of the soon-to-be newly divorced and the ways in which resources can be stretched to finance living in two households. It is important to recognize that divorcing parties need to be “smart,” to really consider the impact of their financial decisions in order to structure an agreement that capitalizes on tax advantages, that analyzes the impact of future changes and options. A “cookie cutter” agreement may be quicker and even cheaper, but in all likelihood it will not help to provide long-term protections.
The Intersection of Divorce Law and Mediation
Westfield Mediation, LLC
If you filed for divorce, can you still do mediation? If you go through divorce mediation, do you still need a lawyer? We commonly hear these questions from potential clients. And the answers, for the most part, are yes, and yes.
Once you file a divorce complaint, you start the Court clock running. If you decide instead to try divorce mediation to save you and your spouse some time and money, you can pause the clock, so long as you inform the Court and your lawyers. Usually, the Courts prefer that people resolve their differences on their own, so they are happy to give you the time to do so, as long as you keep them informed of your plans, and you don’t let things drag on too long. If you and your spouse have started working with lawyers, those lawyers would not be able to mediate your divorce because of potential conflicts of interest. So you would need to find a divorce mediator to help you create an agreement.
What if you start with divorce mediation – would you still need to hire a divorce lawyer? Most likely, yes. Once you and your spouse have come up with an agreement in mediation, we recommend that each of you hire a “review attorney” to look over the document, make sure your legal rights are protected, and explain any of the legal consequences to you. The “review attorney” will then convert your agreement into the form that the Court wants, file the documents with the Court, and accompany you to the Court hearing. Many lawyers will do these tasks for a set fee, rather than their usual hourly rate.
So, why go through mediation if you will still need to hire a lawyer? Because divorce mediators…