Marriage, family life and divorce are common events in many of our lives. We go to school, establish careers, date, marry, raise a family and watch our children grow up and do the same. While getting divorced usually comprises a relatively short period of time, its effects can impact how we experience the many wonderful family milestones and events for years to come.
A good divorce enables folks to get through the process as smoothly as possible, so they can participate in family gatherings without undue difficulty. Mediation allows couples to divorce without confounding the process with difficult, time-consuming and costly litigation.
Easy as 1-2-3
Mediation aims to accomplish three primary goals: (1) the division of property, (2) creation of a parenting plan and (3) establishment of a child/spousal support schedule. In California, a no-fault community property state, the requirements are relatively straightforward.
The division of property, or who gets what, can be a complicated process, but whether they have millions or barely two nickels to rub together, each person is entitled to half of the community property. While distinguishing between community and separate property is often tricky, especially in light of financial issues, such as valuation of real estate, businesses, excessive debt and the like, in mediation, involving experts like appraisers and tax evaluators can eliminate the need for litigation.
Parenting plans based on each family’s unique situation and that are decided upon by the parents rather than a court order work out best in the long term. Through the years, before the kids are “on their own,” many things—from employment and living situations to a child’s developmental needs for a particular parent—can change. Mediation enables families to develop an initial plan that can be tweaked as necessary, without “driving a wedge” between the parents or children.
A plan for child and spousal support often presents significant challenges for divorcing couples. Making the change from one household to two and shared custody of children can be complex, especially in regard to finances. A mediator can help with child and spousal support guidelines tailored to each family’s unique financial situation and resources.
Beyond these basics, some divorces include compounding difficulties, such as addictions, mental deficiencies, abuse and financial issues. Once again, such situations are best handled in a constructive way based upon the family’s specific circumstances. Mediation allows people to deal with essential and sensitive issues without court orders in a nonadversarial, constructive manner, which is more likely to produce an effective long-term solution you can all live with.
With 25 years of experience as a family and business mediator, Peter Wiere of Peter Wiere Mediation specializes in helping couples resolve divorce-related issues in a cost-effective, non-adversarial manner. Visit Peter Wiere Mediation at 3138 Heavenly Ridge Street, in Thousand Oaks, call 805.523.8898 or learn more at WiereMediation.com.