The following 4 tips are offered as a continuation from the previous divorce mediation blog article posted on 1/16/13. These are additional considerations when preparing for a peaceful divorce in the Bay Area.
4. Research Support & Counseling Options
The ending of a marriage is often one of the most painful experiences people will go through in their lives. Do not under estimate the need for support as you are going through it. Even when you have good friends and family members to talk to, having unbiased trained support is still a good idea. Further, I assure you that it gets exhausting listening to anyone as they go through the process. You will most likely want to talk about what is going on and how you are feeling, and you should. There are many great therapists out there, and many divorce support groups. Do yourself a favor and at least consider that this might be something helpful to you at some point during or after your marriage ends.
Also, if you have children, you should research therapists that specialize in working with children going through divorce. Your child may or may not adjust well to the news. This type of research is to simply to be prepared if your child does not seem to be coping well. Most therapists tend to specialize and have experience in different areas. Knowing what resources are available, and the potential costs is helpful to your planning process.
5. Talk to An Accountant
Another important person to consult during your planning process is an accountant. An account can be very helpful in explaining your finances, and advising you regarding various tax and accounting matters related to ending your marriage. For example, there are potential tax considerations to understand regarding paying or receiving both child support and spousal support. Understanding these matters will help you in formulating the best plan for you and your children.
6. Research Divorce Mediators
Because it is important that your divorce mediator is a viewed as a neutral between the spouses, a divorce mediator should not meet with you without your spouse present. If one, or the other, of the spouses has had a prior meeting with the mediator, this normally prompts a bias. However, you can conduct some preliminary research to find divorce mediators in the Bay Area that are experienced, and get an idea of their fees for your planning purposes.
7. Put Together A Plan and Backup Plans
Once you have a good grasp on all your current costs and potential future expenses, you are in a good position to put together your game plan. You should have an ideal plan, and backup plans. You need to plan your finances accordingly for your worst-case scenario. If you cannot afford to get divorced, you would be better served to wait until you have a plan in place for getting the money. If you feel strongly that your marriage needs to, or is going to end, you will do you and your family a great favor by planning for your divorce before you take action.
For any questions regarding divorce mediation, please contact Lisa Nelson at San Francisco Area Mediation (SFAM) at (650) 556-8880 for a free initial consultation.