When a divorce seems inevitable, many people cringe at the idea that their divorce could take months or years to complete, and they might have to wait for a court date to have a judge decide who gets what. Luckily, if you have a respectful relationship with your future ex-spouse, there is an alternative to getting a traditional divorce, where the two of you hash out the details using mediation, instead of having a judge use a sometimes standardized model for dividing assets.
This process entails sitting down across from your spouse and discussing the past lifestyle the two of you lived, and how you can fairly divide assets so the two of you live relatively equal lifestyles going forward. The mediator is a person who will act as a third party, voicing the needs and concerns of each partner, in hopes an agreement can be reached.
Instead of adhering to a judge’s formula and leaving the division up to the court, two spouses can use mediation to split assets according to their values instead of the exact numbers. Mediators can also help you both set up your divorce so the split doesn’t harm you when it comes to taxes.
Although a mediator is a great and often cheaper alternative to a court ordered divorce judgment, it would still be wise to have any mediated deal between you and your spouse reviewed by an experienced attorney, to make sure you won’t regret part of the agreement should your situation change in the future.
Source: The Huffington Post, “New Year’s Resolution,” Abby Tolchinsky, Dec. 21, 2011