When it comes to family law, divorce is among one of the most diverse and complicated parts of the field. For some couples, it makes sense to go through the details of their divorce settlement through the mediation process. Mediation involves a neutral third party, along with your respective attorneys, helping you and your spouse flesh out the details of your divorce prior to the final decree.
During the mediation process, many components of your settlement are decided, chief among them asset division. Because of that, you need to understand what a mediator can and cannot do when it comes to providing you with financial advice during your mediation. You also need to have a firm grasp on how your family finances work before you get to your mediation.
Mediators Are Not Financial Planners
Most mediators, unless they also hold a law degree or are licensed as a financial professional, do not have the legal authority to provide you with any sort of financial advice. They cannot tell you what your best options are when it comes to dividing your assets. They also cannot point out whether or not you are getting a fair deal. Your attorney is there to advocate for you in this regard, but it is wise to seek professional advice from a licensed financial planner so you have an idea as to what you should receive in a fair and equitable settlement. At the very least, you should go through your finances with as much attention to detail as possible. You can then bring this information to your mediation and go from there.
You Need to Know What to Include
Unless you are privy to the details and laws regarding what you are entitled to when it comes to your family's assets during a divorce, you may not know about some of the money and assets you should receive. For instance, you may not know that you should receive a part of your spouse's retirement or SSI benefits when you get a divorce. If you are not aware, or if no one tells you, you can end up with a lower settlement than you are entitled to. You need to know what you should receive before you go to your mediation.
You Will Save Time
When you do not fully understand your finances, chances are you will miss some important details regarding your settlement. If you unintentionally omit something during your mediation, you will have to go to court to have it litigated at a later date, which costs you time and additional money.
Contact a mediation attorney for more information.