After you decide that you are going to separate, the first question you want to answer is what process will work best for you both? Who are the professionals who can help you to find the steps through to this next phase of your lives? Do you both want to try mediation with a neutral third person to help facilitate your conversation? Or would you prefer to have your attorney sitting next to you during your negotiations?
Mediation requires that you both:
- be willing to sit together in the room and listen to the other’s point of view, even if you don’t agree with what the other person is saying
- be willing to voluntarily disclose all financial information
- be able to express your thoughts and true feelings, with the other person present
- be able to advocate for yourself, and for what you think is workable for the future
- have an understanding of your rights
- not be out for revenge
- have some facility around finances, so that you both understand your living expenses
- have the goal of coming up with something that is fair to both of you, and that will allow you to move forward, whole, into your separated futures
- have some trust in the other person, that he/she is not out to screw you over or destroy you
- wish to avoid attorneys all together
- want more control over the process – timing, order of discussing different subjects – and costs
- both people hope to resolve things themselves, rather than having a judge make decisions about your family and your lives.
In the mediation process, I ask for a retainer fee equal to 4 hours of work, which you would replenish when it reaches 1 remaining hour.
The costs of a collaborative divorce average from $10,000 to $50,000, but it is good for couples where:
- you would like to have your attorney present to help you to advocate for yourself
- you are worried about giving up too many legal rights, without fully understanding what you are agreeing to
- you and your ex are not on the same page with understanding about finances
- Finances are very complicated, such as where one person is a business owner
- you and your ex differ regarding how much information you have about finances (for example, one of you pays all the bills and manages the finances and the other ignores them)
- we would like to invite other experts to be part of the process, such as a child specialist, or a divorce financial planner, who would act as neutrals in the process.
- one of you has trouble listening to the other’s point of view, when you disagree, and withdraws from fights, or becomes flooded and can’t speak
- we have questions about financial information, and would like a financial neutral to help facilitate the information gathering process
- one or both people have difficulty expressing their actual needs thoughts and true feelings, and would like the attorney to speak for them about what is workable for the future.
- neither is out for revenge or to destroy the other
- you both have the goal of coming up with something that is fair to both of you, and that will allow you to move forward, whole, into your separated futures
- have some trust in the other person, that he/she is not out ot screw you over or destroy you
- both people hope to resolve things themselves, rather than having a judge make decisions for you
- you both understand that, if you withdraw from the collaborative process, your attorneys will also withdraw, and you will have to start over again, from the beginning, with litigation attorneys.
In the collaborative process, I ask for a retainer fee equal to 20 hours of work, which you would replenish when it reaches 1 remaining hour.
If you have any questions about how these processes work, please email or call me.