Not only does divorce mediation allow couples to engage in creative solutions to issues that a court will want to see addressed when ending a marriage, but also, it allows you to address issues beyond what a court would address to end a marriage. Further, it allows you to be imaginative and take control of how to resolve those issues. This is true of both financial and child related issues.
Financial Issues in Divorce Mediation
If left to a court to decide, a judge will normally attempt to divide up assets and debts as evenly (or “equitable”) as possible. Also, is it common to order the sale of marital assets to pay debts and relieve each party of any on going marital burdens. However, depending upon the circumstances, the “usual way” a judge makes orders may or may not be in the best financial interest of you and your spouse. Parties are free to decide whatever works best for them regarding the division of assets and debts, and write that out clearly in a mediation document. The only requirement is that there is full disclosure by both parties of all the assets and debts.
Children Issues in Divorce Mediation
The domestic court requires that certain basic child related things are addressed either by agreement or by the judge making a decision. For instance, parenting time and child support are the big issues. However, a domestic judge is not going to micro-manage how parents raise their children. So issues that may be important to you, may not be the type of issue a judge will address. For instance, judges will normally stay away from religious and cultural issues relating to children. However, these are sometimes important issues to some parents. In divorce mediation, parents are free to discuss these issues and come to agreements as to how they will be handled. Other issues such as children attending private school and who will pay for it can be discussed. A court would never order parents to put children in private school and force a non-agreeing parent to pay. However, if that is important to the parties, it can be negotiated in divorce mediation and included in a shared parenting plan.
If you have any questions regarding divorce mediation, please do not hesitate to call Lisa Nelson, San Francisco Area Mediation (SFAM), today at (650) 556-8880.