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Sallie Mullins Thompson, CPA PLLC

Navigating Your Financial Life Through Effective Tax Strategies

How Does Mediation Work for Divorcing Couples

How Does Mediation Work for Divorcing Couples

| September 28, 2020

Today I want to talk about Mediation for couples getting divorced. (Click here for Video)

Mediation is the management of other people’s negotiations - by an objective party. So, how does that work in a divorce situation?

During the mediation process, a 3rd person assists the divorcing parties to:  

  1. Resolve their conflict(s) via compromise, creative thinking, and problem-solving.
  2. Reach an agreement with which everyone is comfortable and can adhere.

  3. Ensure all family members are as OK as possible given the available resources.  

People ending a marriage have usually exhausted all possibilities of finding solutions. Now, they are being required to reach consent in difficult-to-talk-about areas such as finances, dividing their assets, and future parenting of their children. How can they do that - when they cannot even stay together! 

That’s where mediation comes in! 

It’s particularly suited to family disputes, such as divorce, because the results are ones that (1) are mutual and applicable for all concerned and (2) enable continuing, cordial, and cooperative  relationships between the parties which is especially needed if they are co-parenting children or working together in a family business.    

The mediator: 

  1. Guides the parties through the various steps.
  2. Ensures all issues and details are covered.
  3. Organizes the discussion of conflicts.
  4. Helps the couple understand what’s involved in the realities of separating.
  5. Facilitates communication.

  6. Clarifies needs, values, interests, and goals.

  7. Assists the parties in developing the options needed to reach resolution.

 In mediation, no one decides who is right or wrong, or who will win or lose.

Mediation generally consists of the following steps: 

  1. Identity concerns and issues for inclusion in the marital separation agreement

  2. Gather and organize the family data and documents

  3. Evaluate the after-tax income of both parties

  4. Create budgets for splitting one household into two

  5. Educate both parties as to what other couples have done

  6. Negotiate issues of support – spousal and children

  7. Divide the assets and debts, considering all income tax consequences

  8. Project future cash and financial worth positions for both parties

  9. Think through the parenting issues – schedules and children’s costs

  10. Cover all the details!

Sallie Mullins Thompson, helping families navigate divorce ... (Video Link)

Photo Credit: Photo by Jonathan Meyer on Unsplash