THE ALTERNATIVE TO COSTLY LITIGATION
Usually the first question is:
"What is divorce mediation?"
When you find out that it is "an amicable way to divorce,"
Your second question most likely is:
"How do you expect us to be amicable,
when we can't even speak to one another!!??
Mediation is an alternative to litigation. This is confusing to most people so allow me to explain it simply. If you are in litigation, a complaint has been filed and served, attorneys are hired, and the Court system assigns a docket number to your case. Dates to appear in Court are mandatory, so if you start getting notices from the Court about appearances, you are in litigation. You need an attorney if this happens because your spouse has already hired an attorney. Mediation saves money because you hire one person to represent both of you and you aren't legally required to appear for mandatory Court dates.
When you are in litigation, you attend meetings with two different attorneys, so that means you are paying two attorneys to do what one mediator can do. They do the same things, their jobs aren't different. The only difference is: one works for you in Court and the other works for you out of Court. The attorneys make money when you don't agree. When you don't agree, your family loses money, not just you. So if you think your spouse is going to be paying your legal fees, where do you think that money comes from? Marital money, your money.
Not to mention how it further destroys a relationship with your soon-to-be-former spouse that is already deteriorated to the point where you feel like enemies. A mediator is trained to help you reach an agreement in an amicable way through a win/win style of negotiation that benefits the entire family. When you hire an attorney, they are only representing your interests and not your spouses. That is not beneficial to the family, especially if you have children. Keep in mind that, in mediation, because you have one person representing both of you, both of your positions are considered. In litigation, you are in an adversarial and litigious position with your soon-to-be former spouse.
Sometimes litigation is necessary, but mediation can be a first line of defense. If you don't agree in Court, a judge can send you to mediation anyway, so why not start there? You can always hire an outside attorney as a consultant and run everything by him/her while you are in Mediation. It is recommended in Mediation that you have an attorney review your agreement anyway.
HOW I BECAME A DIVORCE COACH
I have been a Paralegal since 1989. When I was divorced in 2010, I handled most of my post-divorce issues, pro se, that is I represented myself in Court. I became trained as a Professional Divorce Mediator because I wanted to help couples divorce in a manner that didn't have to destroy their families. Although I felt that my divorce attorney had my best interests at heart, I now know that the decisions were not always what was best for my family. Back when I was going through my divorce, we weren't ordered to go to mediation. Now the growing trend in Family Court is turning towards directing couples to mediation. I wanted to be part of that movement. However, I didn't want to divorce people, I wanted to help them through divorce. I have been helping divorced and separated people through divorce ministry at my parish since 2011. Let me help you. I know how because I've been through it and emerged on the other side. And I can help you do the same.
YOUR MEDIATION TEAM
Healing starts for your family the minute you start this process by mediating your divorce instead of litigating it.
I can function as your Divorce Coach and I am excited to be able to offer you a TEAM that can help you save money, time and with less conflict and collateral damage to your family. My team consists of attorneys, mediators, accountants, financial advisors, therapists and estate planning professionals.
There are professionals who can help you figure out the complex issues of how to afford divorce, how to divide assets, who keeps the house, parenting time, co-parenting and more! It doesn't have to only be an attorney. Your Team can include a divorce coach, that's me!, a financial advisor, a therapist, an accountant, a real estate agent, and a mediator. These professionals can be utilized to save time and money. A lot of money! Think about it. You wouldn't hire a podiatrist to do brain surgery. Why hire an attorney to figure out your finances? Your accountant knows your finances best, they've been doing your taxes for years and they know you and your spouse. A financial advisor can help you because that is what they are qualified to do. Some are even certified in divorce! A therapist can help you deal with your emotions, and a Divorce Coach can help you to harness rational thought when making decisions and can explain the legal process to you.
My team is only comprised of people that understand the needs of a divorcing family. They have the compassion to help you. They want to help you avoid lengthy litigation. The Court's intent is characterized by what is "in the best interest of the children". How does the Court know what's best for your children? Don't you know what is best for your children better than anyone else?
Don't let the Court decide that. My team understands that there is more than just the children's needs that should be considered. Both you and your soon-to-be former spouse have needs too that need to be considered and addressed in order to protect each member of the family unit. This is what my Team focuses on, "the interests and needs of the entire family".
Guided by Catholic principles, my Team and I can help you divorce at a fraction of the cost of litigation. Our fees are very reasonable, and very often we reduce our fees so that you can have more than one professional working for you at one time. I offer every new client a free, half-hour consult so that together we can ascertain how best to help you in the most expeditious way possible.
I only work with people who uphold the same moral and ethical principles that I live by. I believe that you need a team of professionals by your side as you go through this process and I would want to have people that understand me, fight for me and represent my best interests. But I would also want those people to consider my former spouse, something that was lacking in my own divorce. That is what my Team will do not only for you, but for your former spouse and your family so that you can live harmoniously into the future.
In litigation, when you leave the Courthouse, do you think the Judges and attorneys are thinking about that? Choose mediation as a first line of defense before jumping right into litigation. Give it a chance!
For more information on Divorce Mediation, click here!
For more information on the Mediation Process, click here!
For more information about the benefits of Mediation, click here!
For more information about the difference between Mediation and Litigation, click here!
Cost for me to attend mediation sessions with you as your divorce coach with my team are reduced so that you can have the benefit of a team working for you. We reduce our hourly rates so that you can have all of us there helping you! An hour session that includes myself and either the financial advisor or the attorney/mediator ranges from $200-$400 an hour. This is a significant reduction because we want to help and we know money is a factor!