We decided on Divorce. What’s the next step?
The next step is to decide on a method to dissolve the marriage. Most couples just “lawyer up”, and let the attorneys fight it out. That’s fine – if you want to pay for a war that you may lose anyway, waged by combatants who may be more interested in prolonging the battle than bringing it to a quick and fair conclusion. There are options that will allow you to control the outcome and the cost of the divorce.
One such option is mediation. Even if you feel that you and your spouse are so angry and polarized that you could never come to agreement, a skilled mediator will guide you and help you come to a mutually acceptable agreement. It’s a confidential process that takes place out of court. The mediator stays neutral and is completely separated from the outcome. Better yet, if you work with a financial divorce expert, like a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst who is also a trained mediator, he or she can educate you about the financial and tax impacts of your divorce and also model various “what if” scenarios.
The financial mediator can help level out the playing field by explaining (again to both equally) the current family finances and how each asset works. This way you both have complete information to work with before you make your final decision.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not opposed to seeking legal advice. Typically, conflict in divorce has to do with money and parenting. If you feel grossly disadvantaged in your present situation, you should consult with an attorney, at least initially, to understand your rights during the process.