Negotiating Property Division in Divorce Mediation
No matter how you approach your divorce, you will need to work through the division of your marital property. When you divorce through mediation, a neutral third party guides you and your spouse through each issue to be resolved and finalized in your divorce settlement. For many couples, the division of their marital property is the most complex of these issues.
Before you begin working with a mediator, talk to your lawyer about how you should approach your property division. You will need to be your own advocate during the mediation meetings, which can be confusing and overwhelming if you do not completely understand why a specific breakdown of your marital assets is in your best interest.
What Are Your Current Financial Needs?
If you do not make enough money to cover your home’s mortgage and property tax payments on your own, it is probably not in your best interest to fight to retain the house. In this scenario, you might see a much greater benefit by selling the home and splitting the profit with your former spouse. If you receive spousal maintenance, this could be a consideration in your property division. If you are a parent, your parenting plan could also be a point to consider when dividing your assets.
Think of the Future
The financial circumstances you are under right now will not necessarily be the financial circumstances you face forever. How close are you to retirement? How does your health affect your ability to work? What are your financial goals for the next decade, the remainder of your career, and beyond?
Also, think of the futures of your assets. How do you expect them to appreciate? Are certain investments riskier than others?
How Willing Are You to Compromise on Certain Assets?
Before sitting down with the mediator, make a list of the assets you feel most strongly about retaining and those you are willing to divide with your spouse or even let him or her take entirely.
Let Your Mediator Guide Your Negotiation
The whole point of mediation is to work with your spouse under the mediator’s guidance to reach a mutually satisfying settlement. If you are not sure if you are approaching your property division in a constructive way, ask the mediator. He or she is not there to “take a side,” but to facilitate a fair divorce for you and your spouse. He or she should not saddle one partner with all the assets that have significant tax burdens or let one partner take all of the valuable assets while the other settles for whatever is left over.
Work with an Experienced St. Charles Divorce Lawyer
Divorcing through mediation is a way for you and your spouse to retain greater control over the process than you would have if you divorced in the courtroom. To learn more about divorce mediation and the elements of a divorce settlement, contact Shaw Family Law, P.C. today to set up your initial consultation with an experienced Kane County divorce lawyer call us today at 630-584-5550 to get started.