Ensuring equity, and making sure there's no money left on the table.

Divorce

Services

Part B

Divorce is challenging to navigate, from start to finish. Whether it is a second set of eyes for the work you've done in a DIY divorce or divorce mediation services through our unique process that allows for the emotional and financial healing to begin sooner, we have the tools to support your process.

 

There are two kinds of mediation: 


Traditional with Attorneys:  This generally takes place with attorneys in separate rooms with their clients, and a mediator shuttles back and forth from room to room assisting the parties to come to an agreement.  It normally takes place on the same day for 4-8 hours.  Most agreements made become binding and there can be pressure to sign agreements that day without time to ponder and digest the consequences.  

Non-attorney:  We offer an alternative to the traditional attorney divorce route.  We provide amicable couples who would like to work out their divorce settlement in a collaborative way without the conflict, contention and cost of attorneys.  Our mediation process enables you and your spouse the opportunity to sit down at the same table, with a mediator who is trained in the tax and financial consequences of untangling assets and debts as well as experience in creating family friendly parenting plans, to review various settlement scenarios using the legal guidelines established in Colorado.  The meetings last 2 hours each and allow enough time in between so you can process and digest your alternatives.  There are no court deadlines or outside pressures to finalize your settlement until you decide you are in agreement.  Should you need legal advice at any time during the process, we can provide you with referrals to excellent, qualified, and experienced family law attorneys that will send you back to the negotiating table equipped with legal precedents or guidelines in order to assist you with the discussion.  In the eyes of the court, you will be self-represented or Pro Se parties.  

 

You, with our assistance, will have all the documents you need in order to complete the divorce filing paperwork.  

SWORN FINANCIAL
STATEMENTS (2)

CERTIFICATES OF 
COMPLIANCE (2)

MEDIATED SEPARATION
AGREEMENT
(MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING)

PARENTING PLAN
WITH DAILY/HOLIDAY SCHEDULE

Top View of Table & Chair

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:

    1. Assessing Marital Assets and Debts vs. Separate Property

    2. Determining Income, Spousal Support, & Future Living Expense

    3. Creating Parenting Schedule & Shared Children’s Expenses

    4. Determining Division of Assets and Debts 

    5. 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

 
 
Image by Alejandro Escamilla

FAQs

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.

 

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. 

 

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.)

1-2 HOURS

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
ANALYSIS REPORT
FOR PERSONAL & LEGAL USE

1-2 HOURS

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:

UNDERSTANDING OF YOUR SPECIFIC STORY WITHIN OUR SCOPE OF SERVICES

A MORE IN DEPTH PICTURE OF THE PROCESS AND RESULTS

20 MINUTE ONE ON ONE CONVERSATION WITH LESLIE GARSKE, C.D.F.A.