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You’ve decided to end your marriage, but there are many other decisions to be made – the first and most important being how to do it...
A Dissolution Or Divorce? Litigate Or Mediate?
Divorce mediation is rapidly becoming the divorce method of choice for couples across the nation. Divorce mediation prevents the conflict and emotional fallout of a long court battle, as well as the tremendous expense for both parties involved. In a litigated divorce, you can expect to spend thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees and, at best, have limited control over the outcome.
A judge will ultimately be the one who decides what to do with your house, your bank account, your pension and your children. In contrast, divorce mediation offers all the same protections that attorney-assisted divorces offer, but with the added benefit of a non-adversarial process that puts you in control of what happens.
Studies show that mediated agreements are more likely to be honored than litigated settlements. Mediation is a time-tested approach to the resolution of separation, calculating spousal support, divorce and custody disputes, offering couples a more effective and equitable choice compared to litigated divorces. Questions? Call us today.
Conveniently located off of Route 480 & Route 90 in the Szarka Financial Management building!
How Mediation Works
Couples choosing to mediate select a neutral third party – a mediator – who helps them negotiate and decide how to divide their financial assets and debts, as well as make critical decisions regarding their children. The mediator helps the couple come to agreement on all issues, assisting them in making fair and informed decisions. All discussions are private, the schedule is up to the couple, and they still have the option of court if any particular point of contention is not resolved in mediation. Questions? Call us today.
5 Simple Stages
You want to avoid a long, costly court battle, and a “do-it-yourself” divorce is just too risky. There is another option – mediation. But how does it work?
- Deciding to Mediate - The mediator arranges a free, no-obligation half hour session with the couple at Duffy & Associates. The mediator provides an introduction to the options available for ending a marriage in the State of Ohio, and how divorce mediation works. If the couple wishes to move forward with the mediation process, the mediator also presents Duffy & Associates’ Agreement to Mediate, which outlines the rules of mediation, confidentiality terms, fees and other administrative matters.
- Information Gathering - The couple comes to the second session with the completed Mediation Intake Worksheet. The worksheet is discussed and the mediator clarifies all content to ensure the financial information will be correctly described in the final mediated agreement. The mediator leads the discussion and begins to identify the assets and shared parenting decisions, if applicable, that will require negotiation.
- Negotiation & Problem-Solving - Negotiation is often the most difficult phase of the mediation process, and varies greatly from client to client. In the negotiation sessions, each party is given equal opportunity to state their opinions and generate possible solutions without being interrupted. The mediator clarifies and summarizes each party’s viewpoint, asks questions, clarifies concerns, and keeps the couple talking in a way that leads to agreement on all points of contention.
- Drafting of Agreement - Throughout the process, the mediator has carefully recorded the final resolution of each point. After all issues have been resolved, the mediator draws up the agreement for final review by the couple. Frequently the mediator prepares two different documents. The first document identifies how all of the financial assets are going to be divided. The second document addresses the issues related to the children such as child support, health care insurance and the parenting time schedule.
- Closing - In the final session, the mediator reviews the agreement with the couple and notes any necessary revisions. The couple is then given instructions regarding the post-mediation court filing requirements and procedures.
Duffy & Associates guides its clients through the process, helping them come to the best possible agreement.
Build The Best Possible Foundation For Life After Marriage!