Don’t go unprepared to divorce mediation
I’m inspired daily by the positive feedback I receive about why my services are so needed and I am frequently told by divorcees that they wish they had someone like me help them with their divorce. One of my “cheerleaders” is a woman who went through a very difficult divorce a couple years ago, before The Right Divorce Solution was formed. She ended up in mediation, with only her attorney. Her comments were as follows and I have bolded what really bothered me:
“I would think the advantage to using your services is that you would have [handled the financials] ahead of time before the parties go to mediation. Also many lawyers withhold financial info so you can’t do any work ahead of time leaving you unprepared when you go to the table. How can you help with that? I hope this is helpful.”
Is this true? Maybe in some cases but what is more often true is that attorneys are not well prepared to address the financial aspects of the case because of the one prevalent truth: Attorneys are professionals trained to advise and protect people’s legal rights, and they must have a depth of knowledge in all areas of the law in which they practice in order to represent their clients adequately. It is not really fair or reasonable to expect that they will also have the depth of knowledge that a CDFA has about taxes, pension distributions, insurance issues, long-term ramifications of property division or financial planning.
The same is true when hiring a mediator. Their skills center around helping couple verbalize their needs and wants and helping them come up with and guide them towards solutions. Those that don’t have a legal background usually have a background in therapy of psychology, not finance.
Hire a financial expert BEFORE mediation
My passion is facilitate divorce settlements affordably. A divorce financial settlement does not even have to involve an attorney. Hiring a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst at the beginning of your divorce process and letting me guide you, as a couple, towards a settlement solution will save you money. However, for some, hiring an attorney is unavoidable or they decide that is the route they want to go. Once attorneys are involved, my role becomes an educator and an advocate for my client in mediation. (Most cases go to mediation eventually, after you have paid a lot in fees). I will handle the financial aspects, such as the Financial Affidavit and your budget, much more affordably and knowledgeably than an attorney or their staff. I will review the financial information provided by you and your spouse and work with you and your attorney so you are prepared when you walk into mediation. You will not be making decisions in the dark and having the numbers clearly outlined may speed up the process and save you money.
Decisions made at mediation will affect your whole life
The decisions made at mediation will affect you for the rest of your life. Be prepared and don’t leave it to a non-financial expert or to chance!!! Call me for a free 30 minute consultation. You will be glad you did.