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7 Planning Tips to Prepare for A Peaceful Divorce (Part II: Tips 4-7)

Prepare for ending your marriage.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.

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What Is A Divorce Mediator?

 A key aspect of a successful mediation process is having an experienced, skilled divorce mediator mediating your divorce issues.  The parties in conflict will sit down with a San Francisco area divorce mediator, and the mediator will control the mediation process.  You should not be afraid to ask your San Francisco area divorce mediator about his or her experience and training.

A divorce mediator should be a neutral person who is trained in mediation techniques.  The role of a divorce mediator is to facilitate the mediation process.  The roles of divorce lawyers and divorce mediators differ.  Divorce lawyers advise their clients regarding how to resolve their issues, whereas a divorce mediator’s role is to facilitate the mediation process.

Divorce Lawyers as Mediators
A divorce mediator can also be a divorce lawyer.  The upside to having a divorce mediator, who is also a San Francisco area divorce lawyer is that the mediator then is aware of all the legal issues that needed to be resolved in ending a divorce.  While the role of the mediator is not to advise the parties as to how to resolve their issues, a divorce mediator can provide insight into how the court is likely to address similar issues, or what the parties could expect by going through the court process.

Counselors as Mediators
Non-lawyer mediators can also be very good divorce mediators.  In particular, mediators with counseling backgrounds can be very good mediators.  But you need to ask the questions and understand what background they have that makes them qualified, or experienced to do divorce mediation.  Whether the mediator is a lawyer or non-lawyer, ask for references.

Call SFAM today at (650) 556-8880 for a free initial consultation to discuss mediating your divorce matter or visit our website at www.sf-mediators.com.

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What is Divorce Mediation?

Divorce mediation is a specialized process facilitated by a neutral divorce mediator to help people resolve any and all issues involved with ending a marriage.  Child custody and parenting issues, as well as marital property and debt division issues may be resolved through divorce mediation.  The agreements reached by the parties in divorce mediation get transferred into the necessary legal documents and filed with the appropriate court.  In California, it is possible for the parties to mediate all of their issues and never have to appear in court.

The Divorce Mediation Process
Your San Francisco area divorce mediator typically begins by explaining the mediation process, laying the ground rules, explaining what important documents the parties should bring to mediation.  Mediation can be viewed as a three-part process.  First, the mediator helps the parties identify whatever issues need to be resolved.  Next each issue is tackled one at a time.   For each issue, the parties are encouraged to brainstorm ideas for resolving the issue.  Finally, after a creative problem solving session produces a variety of options for resolving the conflict, the parties will begin discussing the pros and cons of the various options.  Ultimately the goal is to arrive at solutions that both parties can agree upon.  The process is repeated for each issue that needs to be resolved.

Mediation is a fantastic tool that can be used in all sorts of situations to resolve conflicts.  I personally specialize in divorce mediation because of my extensive divorce law experience.  However, mediation skills are transferable to resolving a variety of high conflict situations from neighborhood disputes to corporate partnership issues.

Contact SFAM today at (650) 556-8880 mediation today for a free initial consultation, and visit www.sf-mediators.com.

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