Donald and Melany live in Massachusetts. They are age 48 and 47. They have three children agres 18, 14, 12. They both work for companiees and get steady pay checks. They have decided to divorce.
The main area of concern is their marital home with a fair market value of $600K and a mortgage of $300K. Bothe the home and the mortgage is in both their names.
They are considering using divorce mediation to resolve this and their other issus.
Let's apply these mediation concepts to their factual situation
1. Mediation provides a Civilized and healthy process based on common goals
It's amazing how adding a mediator (trained professional neutral) to the room will enable you to have a conversation again. Once a couple can talk again they can with the help of a mediator agree on a process to discuss important topics.
Priot to their session Donald and Melony were so defensive, nervous and angry they were not able to have a civilized conversation. In the session room the mediators relaxed the situation and calmed fears. The parties now know that their children are a priority and a healthy, business like relationship is possible.
2. A process that will educate you and generate options for you.
Let experienced mediators make the complicated understandable. We will help you to understand the issues in order to allow smart decisions to be made. A helpful and effective divorce attorney mediator will explain to you the three tracks contained within a divorce agreement.
The couple was educated as to the options regarding their home; basically they coould:
A.sell now by agreeing on a price, deciding whether to use a broker, getting advice from the attorney/mediaotr as to how to move through the sale process, how to prepare the house for sale regarding repairs and staging and discussing how the proceeds will be divided.
B.one party may buy out the other now- here the parties need to find out the approximate fair market value, agree on the buyout price, check on the ability to refinance in order to buy out the other and then how to make that happen. The mediator can get you through that process. This is a new start for both parties with no continuing joint mortgage debt.
C.one party lives in the home for a period of time with a final date to sell or refinance if not done by a certain date. Here the couple decided the wife will remain in the home and she will pay all costs of the home except for extraordinary repairs or capital improvements. Both parties remain on the title and mortgage.The wife may buy out the Husband during the next 5 years or refinace at any time to relieve the Husband of the mortgage debt and get hin his agreed upon equity. Other conditions are agreed to as to proof of payment of the mortgage, tax deductions for the mortgage interest and real estate taxes, etc.
3.. Mediation provides a way to help you grasp the 100+ divorce topics that may need to be addressed within your divorce agreement.
Donald and melany following the mediator's template of divorce topics to be included in the divorce agreement, they werel educated on topics including all matters related to children, asset and liability issues as well as cash flow issues, that means: budgeting, child support, alimony plus any "hot topics" that may require immediate attention.
4. Mediators who are also experienced Family Law Attorneys, are licensed and capable of preparing all the required documentation that you will need to enter into the court.
Donlad and Melony had their mediators prepare the court documents necessary to file in court. They had the opportunity to have the documents reviewed by indiviual attorneys, financial people, insurance providers, etc for their input as may or may not be necessary..
5. A much quicker process as opposed to divorce representation/litigation.
Donald and Melony completed their mediation in 2 months and filed the paperwork in court 3 weeks later. The typical litigated divorce is at least a year.
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