The point of divorce mediation is to have a more transparent and affordable divorce method. The mediation process will allow you and your spouse to work together when resolving issues and deciding on a final divorce agreement. Knowing what you want out of the divorce is important when going into the negotiation process. Our family law team works with you by providing the best mediation services in the Greater Houston area. We are familiar with what it takes to find a resolution and maintain an amicable tone throughout the divorce.
Listed below are some topics you will need to be ready to discuss in order to cover your bases and know what it is you are asking for in your mediation:
- Marital property division and debt allocation. Before attending mediation, both spouses will probably complete a detailed financial and property worksheet. During negotiations, you’ll determine what property belongs to the marital estate and what, if any, belongs to the individual spouses. Once you’ve done that, the mediator will help you determine how to split the marital assets.
- Retirement account division. Aside from the marital home, retirement accounts are often a couple’s largest asset. Dividing retirement accounts in divorce can be complicated. Both spouses must disclose 401k, 403b, pension, and any other retirement accounts to their spouse before mediation. In most cases, if you want to divide a retirement account, you’ll need to create what’s called a “qualified domestic relations order” (QDRO) or “domestic relations order” (DRO). You and your spouse might need to hire a pension expert or QDRO preparation company to create an order for you.
- Spousal support. If you believe you’ll need spousal support (also called “alimony” or “maintenance”), you should do a deep dive into your income and financial obligations before attending your mediation session. If you aren’t sure where to start, a divorce attorney can help you understand your state’s laws and calculations for support.
- Child custody. Before you attend mediation, you should learn a bit about child custody basics and familiarize yourself with the custody terms the mediator will use in your session. Our article on child custody mediation provides a great summary of what to expect.
- Child support. Your mediator should know the state’s guidelines for child support and will typically use the formula to determine the final amount of child support. Be prepared to discuss any expenses that might be unique to your child, such as out-of-pocket medical costs or fees for extracurricular activities, as well as each parent’s responsibility for child tax credits.
- Insurance coverage. You will want to discuss the ownership and possible transfer of all policies you have, such as medical, vehicle, property, and umbrella. When couples divorce, health insurance in particular often becomes a significant issue for at least one spouse—make sure you’re ready to discuss how each of you will maintain coverage.
- Future communication. The mediator will help you work out these details, but be prepared to discuss issues like what happens when someone doesn’t meet the requirements in the agreement, how you’ll exchange tax information, who will pay legal expenses, how to resolve disputes, and the best ways to communicate going forward.
- Anything else. Think about any additional issues unique to your family. Are they now, or could they later be, a source of disagreement? Talking about them now might help you fend off down-the-road problems.
Best Divorce Mediator in Houston, Texas
Working with an experienced and good mediator will help you to navigate the process. Attorney Renken received her mediation license through ADR Services International Inc. in 2014. Since this time, she has worked with a wide range of divorcing couples looking for alternatives to traditional courtroom divorces. Mediation offers the opportunity to divorce without public court appearances or back and forth litigation. Mediation is a private method of divorce that allows both parties to work together to reach an amicable solution as a neutral third-party mediator works to ensure both parties are fairly represented in the final agreement.
Best Divorce Mediation Lawyer in Houston
Our team proudly serves the Greater Houston area, including but not limited to Brazos County, Cypress, Fort Bend County, Galveston, Houston Heights, Houston, Humble, Katy, Kingwood, Memorial Houston, Montgomery County, Montrose, Richmond, Rosenberg, Spring, The Woodlands. All marriages are different, making each divorce equally unique with its own set of needs that must be addressed. Contact our law office to explore your options moving forward, and find out how we can help you.