Our Unique Non- Attorney Mediation Process:
4 SET MEETINGS
Number of meetings can very by complexity
2 HOUR MEETINGS
Who can talk about this heavy of topics for longer?
SPACE TO BREATHE
Allows time to think, research and ponder without pressure
What do the Meetings look like?
Assets & Debts
Can I keep the house? How do we divide retirement?
Income & Expenses
Will I get maintenance? Do I have to pay spousal support?
How will we make major decisions for our kids? How do we share our children's expenses? What about holidays?
How can I say "YES" or "NO" to anything unless I can see the whole picture?
You, with our assistance, will have all the documents you need in order to complete the divorce filing paperwork.
(MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING)
WITH DAILY/HOLIDAY SCHEDULE
What you can expect with our Divorce Mediation process:
Both parties sit down at the table together, with their mediator, for a series of four to five 2-hour meetings at two week intervals within an 8-10 week period in order to have time to ponder and weigh the life changing and financial decisions at hand.
Detailed financial information is gathered for both parties. This includes all court required financial disclosures including paystubs, tax returns, retirement account statements, mortgage statements, credit card statements, bank statements, etc.
Goals and specific items of importance are shared, each person is given time to verbalize their needs and wants in the process.
We start by illustrating a 50/50 division of all marital assets and debts to assist our clients in negotiating what they believe is fair in the context of their divorce. Remember, this is your divorce. Our process, but your divorce. You decide what the settlement looks like by communicating your needs and what feels fair in an environment that allows you to be heard. We put our heads together to both individually and collectively to identify what issues need to be prioritized and discussed then decide if experts are needed to value items like the house, a self-employed business, a pension, etc.
A divorce mediator in unlike a standard mediator in divorce cases involving attorneys. A divorce mediator is a neutral 3rd party comprehensively trained to help couples negotiate what they believe is fair in a divorce situation outside of litigation to ensure a more cost-effective, healing process. A divorce mediator guides you through the following topics during the process:
Assessing Marital Assets and Debts vs. Separate Property
Determining Income, Spousal Support, & Future Living Expense
Creating Parenting Schedule & Shared Children’s Expenses
Determining Division of Assets and Debts
Finalizing Agreements & Clients Prepare Pro Se Paperwork
During the process, the identified issues are negotiated and talked through giving an equal voice to both parties, against the landscape of the identified goals.
If at any time during the process, one party wants to consult with legal counsel, it is highly encouraged. Our mediators are familiar with the case law and statutes that surround family law, but they are not practicing family law attorneys. They can assist you to find legal counsel and can give you information regarding how the courts may or may not view certain situations. Ultimately, at the end of the day, you and your soon to be ex-spouse are making the decisions that fit you and your family best, not a stranger in a black robe sitting on a bench.
Completing the process involves reviewing and authorizing all agreements necessary for joint filing. The documents are then filed by the parties.
What does your process look like?
Our unique process is designed to take the decisions made in divorce one step at a time
This is a brand new road and you aren't expected to be the expert. Here are some frequently asked questions that come up often as people consider divorce mediation.
There is so much emotion and we don't get along...can this work for us?
We recognize the high emotion that comes with the life change and have a great deal of experience in facilitating effective, respectful communication. While our process is not for everyone, we have found that when two people come to the table and see the financial benefit of the process, the mutual goals we establish create a space that is not "you vs. me" but has a unified approach to moving forward in the most "win/win" way possible.
Is our mediation process really cheaper than divorce?
Yes, on average our Clients save $15,000 by working with our process rather than pursuing litigation. The main drivers of those savings are due to lack of attorney fees, and more efficient communication that results in less billable hours. Additionally, our unique process streamlines the road to settlement in a way that requires far less investment of both time and money.
Will this process count as court ordered mediation?
Yes, however, if you end up going to court over unresolved issues your judge may order those issues to be mediated once in the court process.
Can I still obtain legal advice?
Yes, we encourage it! Using attorneys on an “unbundled” basis is strongly suggested. ("Unbundled" legal services are when you use an attorney more as a legal coach rather than speaking for you in court and in mediation).
If I need an attorney can you refer me to one?
What is a CDFA?
A certified divorce financial analyst is a trained financial professional who can help you get the fairest deal you can. They ensure that your assets will be divided fairly and that you won't be shortchanging yourself when negotiating a divorce settlement. Their areas of expertise include anything that may affect your long-term financial picture, such as:
Maintenance or child support
Dividing personal vs. marital property
Determining the future value of retirement and pension funds
Calculating any divorce payments
Divorce tax law
Is there anyone who is not suitable for your process?
Situations involving high conflict with violence, deceit and abuse are not suitable for our process, or if there is a large power imbalance in the relationship. Our process is for couples that are able to advocate for themselves and communicate with each other in a respectful, honest manner who want to work out their divorce settlement as peacefully as possible.
We are doing this late in life- is your team familiar with that scenario?
Our team is very familiar with the anxiety and fear caused by facing a divorce in your later years. We have assisted many divorcing couples approaching retirement by projecting their cash flow needs using available retirement and other assets. We utilize these tools in the negotiation process so that the resulting settlement feels fair to both parties and each are set up for future success.
We have special needs children - can your process still help us navigate our path?
We recognize that some families have children with special needs that require extra care and attention when planning for their post divorce families,( i.e. caregivers, estate planning, and government benefit planning) and have navigated these roads with many families.
What if we get down to the end and can't agree on everything?
On the rare occasion that all items are not agreed upon, the bulk of the settlement is complete with significant cost savings. If there are a few outstanding items remaining, couples can pursue legal options while retaining all they have accomplished, as well as their significant time and financial savings.
How often does the process end in resolution without any uncontested issues? Almost all the time. Our process is very successful because we have a careful, detailed intake process to make sure that you and your spouse are a good match for successful resolution. In the event that you are not a good match for our process, we can provide you (and your attorney) with tax and financial insight while you prepare and negotiate your litigated case.
Why choose Mediation with Garske Mediation?
The Garske Divorce Mediation Process:
Facilitates the communication between the parties, making sure that both parties have equal time to share and vocalize priorities
Uses questions to ensure clear communication and understanding between both parties
Provides information about the divorce process
Describes how issues could be viewed in a legal setting
Identifies alternatives for solving issues, including additional third party support and experts when appropriate and beneficial
Is familiar with more sensitive cases, like late in life divorces and families with special needs dependents
Understands the need for financial security and strives to assist our clients to set themselves up for financial success post divorce.
Ensures that every person is entitled to legal and tax advice and encourages our clients to consult with family law attorneys and tax accountants on all issues pertaining to their case
Specializes in the tax and financial consequences pertaining to your divorce settlement by ensuring that all of our mediators and case managers are Certified Divorce Financial Analysts ® (CDFAs)
Educates parties on the financial consequences today, tomorrow and into the future of each scenario to ensure they are completely informed before they agree to any settlement
Our Settlement Prep/Proposal package is
for Clients wanting to bring forward a fair, effectively composed settlement proposal, with regards to financial and tax consequences, for either attorney mediation or a DIY Divorce.
This package includes:
MARITAL BALANCE SHEET
WITH 1-3 SCENARIOS
DETAILED ANALYSIS OF SETTLEMENT DETAILS
(50/50 - HOUSE - ETC.)
ANALYSIS WITH LESLIE
Our Pension Valuation package is for clients who have pensions, i.e. PERA, FERS, Fire Service Pension, Police, private pension, that need to be valued.
This package includes:
PENSION DIVISION AND OFFSET SCENARIOS PROVIDED
1 PAGE EXPERT
FOR PERSONAL & LEGAL USE
ANALYSIS WITH LESLIE
Sometimes the first step is just starting the conversation. Book a free 20 minute phone consultation to answer quick questions you may have and determine if there's a fit.
This call includes: