10 New Ways To Avoid Court Before, During, and After Divorce

Divorce can be a very difficult emotional process.  You might feel as if you’ve been punched in the stomach or as if the rug has been pulled from right underneath your feet.  You may become overwhelmed as you try to figure out what to do next.

What many might not realize is that the term “divorce” refers solely to legal marital status.  The legal process of divorce need not be fraught with emotional turmoil.  

The court litigation system, however, often compounds the difficult negative emotions by its adversarial nature, such as by the terms “Plaintiff vs. Defendant.”  Ultimately the court or third-party professionals can decide intensively personal decisions including where your children will live, how much money you will pay or receive from your own income and assets.

Instead, you can stay in control of these decisions by reaching an agreement with your spouse. 

Here are 10 new ways to customize the mediation and legal services you need to stay out of court and design your own outcome before, during, and after divorce.  

1.   Customized Action Plan

If you’re considering divorce or have a divorce agreement that needs to be changed, it can be overwhelming if you don’t know who to call or where to find information.  It can be even more frustrating when you don’t want anyone to know.  You might be hesitant to start with lawyers who you might believe will make the situation worse.  The solution is a Customized Action Plan.

2.   Financial Settlement Plan

You have decided to divorce and want to resolve the financial issues with a full understanding of the available options, and preferably without court. 

 Or perhaps you are already divorced and need to revise your divorce agreement as circumstances have changed; your children are approaching college age, you are considering retirement, or experienced a loss of income.  This is the service for you if any of these describe your circumstances.  Click here  for details.

3.   Divorce Mediation

Mediation is a cost-effective alternative to the litigation process that enables spouses to negotiate more openly in a confidential and settlement focused environment.  Click here to learn more.

4.   Legal Services Before and During Mediation

If you have scheduled mediation with another mediator, make sure it will be productive by being prepared ahead of time with a full understanding of the relevant law and realistic and viable options for settling the issues to be resolved.  Maximize the chances of reaching a successful mediated agreement with the benefit of legal advice or representation prior and/or during mediation.   For  example, if there are businesses involved or executive or officer compensation including, for instance, stock options or incentives, it’s best for the mediator to be an accounting professional.

5.   Legal Services After Mediation 

Once you and your spouse have reached agreement on all of the issues, the mediator will typically prepare a written summary of the agreement, which is called a Memorandum of Understanding.  The Memorandum of Understanding is not legally binding.  Therefore, the next step is to engage an attorney on your behalf.  I would first advise you with respect to the legal implications of your mediated agreement.  I would also advise you as to any divorce-related financial and tax implications (for a more comprehensive analysis, I would refer you to trusted financial advisors and/or accountants).  Thereafter, in consultation with you, we would resolve any open-ended issues and I would prepare a legally binding Marital Settlement Agreement and file the appropriate court documents required to obtain a Judgment of Divorce.  Of course, you can select any or all of these legal services following your mediation.  

6.   Negotiation and Settlement Strategies 

Where you and your spouse prefer to communicate directly rather than through attorneys, maximize the chances of reaching a successful agreement by gaining access to negotiation techniques and strategies known only to lawyers and professional negotiators, and to effective communication and other creative problem-solving strategies designed to facilitate a settled divorce agreement.  As an added bonus, you can take these skills and strategies to use long after the divorce has been finalized.  

7.   Memorandum of Understanding After Agreement

Once both spouses have reached agreement directly between themselves and summarized the essential terms in writing, you should ensure that all issues have been addressed and that the agreement can be effectively implemented.   Minimize legal fees with a complete Memorandum of Understanding that you can simply bring to the attorneys.

8.   Divorce Legal Representation 

The  approach I offer is intended to reduce conflict in a way that is cost-effective because we focus on creating lasting results that are designed to meet your most important needs, interests, and goals.

Let’s face it – divorce is about dissolving the “business” of marriage.  Yet it’s not all business.  We need to address the emotional aspects of the divorce process, as well as the legal and financial aspects, to create lasting solutions.

At the same time, you will have the benefit of my skills in communication, negotiation, and creative problem-solving to maximize achievement of a comprehensive divorce agreement that works for you.

9.   Post-Divorce Legal Representation

This is for those who are already divorced and your divorce agreement needs to be revised because circumstances have changed.  Such changes may include where the children are now approaching college age, or a spouse is considering retirement or experienced a loss of income.  You can call or schedule an appointment to have these issues resolved in a legally binding agreement.

10.   Ongoing Legal Advice or Problem Solving 

After the divorce has been entered, you would have a readily available “safety net” to head off any conflict that might arise with parenting time, custody or transitioning to a new relationship or marriage; where one parent wishes to relocate, or there is anticipated or actual change in income or retirement.  Clients would be able to use their newly earned skills in effective communication and negotiation strategies to prevent or resolve conflicts in the future.

I invite you to call me directly or schedule an appointment to get started.  

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