The end-of-year holidays often cause couples to forego making decisions about divorce. Whether it’s nostalgia, money or not wanting to upset the kids, it was easy to put off a decision. But now, reality sets in and bills from holiday spending start to roll in.
Likewise, the New Year often brings with it a spike in divorce filings. The UK has gone so far as to coin the first Monday of the first week of the new year as “Divorce Day.” If getting a divorce is on your New Year’s resolution list, then we highly suggest you consider divorce mediation.
Divorce Mediation as an Option
Divorce mediation is a process that can help you avoid the high expenses of going to trial, both financially and emotionally. It helps you close this chapter of your life with dignity and control, and allows you to walk more confidently in the direction of your future.
During mediation, a neutral third-party will help you and your spouse reach an agreement on how to divide your assets and liabilities, create custody and visitation schedules, and determine child support and alimony. Once you have reached an agreement on all aspects concerning your divorce, you then turn over your agreements to the court. The judge assigned to your case will incorporate the terms of your agreement into the final order for divorce.
Start to Sort Through Your Financial Documents
It is important that you understand your financial position before entering the mediation room. Watch for bank statements and bills for a couple of months to make sure you are aware of your and your spouse’s income and expenses. Some spouses will have opened bank accounts in their own names to hide money if they anticipate a divorce is on the horizon. Others will run up the balance on joint credit cards, knowing the other spouse may be responsible for paying it in full.
Become knowledgeable about what’s going in and out of all your accounts. If you notice anything suspicious, you should contact one of our family law attorneys right away to review the situation. Often, we are able to prevent a spouse from draining a joint account and can help you close credit cards that may expose you to more debt.
Consider the Custody & Visitation Schedule That Best for Your Children
Children will react in their own ways to news that their parents are getting a divorce. Even though you may think they see it coming, children seem to hope that it never happens. They love both parents and have a difficult time imagining them living apart in different houses.
The best course of action is to try to keep their schedules as normal as possible. Don’t put them in the middle or ask them to choose between parents and homes. This is another reason mediation is a smart choice—it allows you to work with your spouse to minimize the impact on your kids.
Contact Us to Discuss If Divorce Mediation Is Right for You
We are here to help and to listen. We have years of experience counseling clients going through divorce. Schedule a consultation with White & Associates at 763-241-0477 now to learn more about the mediation process.