Let’s take a minute to talk about mediation. Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process in which both spouses meet with an unbiased third-party – called a mediator – to try to work out a divorce agreement without going to court.
A LOT of divorcing couples find divorce mediation appealing, because:
- It’s confidential – what’s discussed during mediation stays in mediation.
- It’s not binding – in other words, you aren’t “bound” to follow through and reach an agreement. Until you sign the agreement, you can change your mind about any of the issues – or even if you want to continue to mediate.
A professional mediator does NOT offer suggestions on how you can settle your differences; their role is to facilitate the negotiations and keep you on the path that leads to an agreement. When a question arises, the mediator will give you homework to find the answers, with the understanding that you will come back to discuss what you have discovered. Even if the mediator has seen your situation before and knows the answer, they won’t offer it to you. The mediator doesn’t offer solutions. You negotiate with each other and create your own solutions.
At Feldmeyer Financial Group, we have financial professionals available who are certified as Divorce Financial Analysts. Although we have taken mediation training, we are NOT mediators. We can help you get through a decision-making discussion by acting as a financial neutral. As a financial neutral, we work with the divorcing couple to bring clarity to the family’s finances with a goal of helping you reach a mutually agreeable settlement that works for your family.
One of the biggest delays in moving forward in the divorce process is a lack of available information on the impact of the potential financial decisions you might make. At Feldmeyer Financial Group, our role is to provide the financial information necessary to make informed decisions – including the short and long-term financial impact of different settlement alternatives. We may revise scenarios several times to address your issues and concerns.
If you reach an agreement, you and your spouse should each seek your own legal counsel to review the agreement before asking a judge to approve it. If you need an introduction to an attorney, we can offer you a list of professional referrals.
We are also available to answer any questions that your legal counsel may have regarding the information that we have provided.
Our goal is to help you get through the divorce process as quickly and smoothly as possible so you can move on with the rest of your life. If you want to discuss how we can help, contact our office and set up a time to discuss your case.
Ben Feldmeyer, CFP®, CDFA®, CLTC® is a Private Wealth Advisor and President of Feldmeyer Financial Group, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. For more information, please visit the Feldmeyer Financial Group Divorce Magazine online profile.
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