Divorce is never a happy thing, and all too often going through the process of divorce can exponentially add to the pain, damage and financial costs of splitting up. Something to consider is the process of mediation. There are professional mediators who are very experienced in helping divorcing couples come to agreement about how to care for their children, divide assets, and go on with their lives.
One such mediator is Peter Wiere, of Wiere Mediation. How does it work? In words from his website, here’s an example:
In all mediations, the mediator must become familiar with the pertinent information required to effectively serve the mediation process. This requires a certain amount of fact finding and, depending on the situation, can be obtained in different ways.
In regards to divorce, the following are common issues that need to be resolved, either for the short term (I call this an interim understanding, when the court issues temporary orders), or for the long term (covered by a Memorandum of Understanding that results in a Marital Settlement Agreement):
- During marriage, accumulation of assets & debt is community and is divided equally.
- Separate property remains separate unless it has become commingled, then it becomes community.
- Children’s health and welfare are paramount – physical and financial support is mandatory, but can be equal.
- Whoever makes the most usually pays support to the one making less for some period of time (usually half the years of the marriage).
- The person receiving support is usually expected to eventually become independently economically viable.
- Modification of custody & visitation, child support and spousal support can remain under the jurisdiction of the court, and therefore change over time.
Links to mediation services and other resources for divorcing families can be found on our Families Counseling website on the Links page.