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The process will vary depending on your particular situation but the typical stages are as follows:
It begins with a general orientation to discuss the process and the concerns and goals of the parties. The mediator does not act as an attorney for either party but will review some of the legal terms and process involved and discuss the paper work required by the court. The court requires the parties to exchange financial information and make a complete disclosure of all their assets and liabilities. We start there including the preparation of income and expense affidavits. After getting homework the first meeting will adjourn. This information can be reported electronically on forms we supply to save time or in writing by email. This information will help the parties to begin with the mediator's help to divide their assets and better understand the needs of both parties.
If you have children we will focus on them and begin to prepare a parenting plan that works for both parties and discuss the legal terms and alternatives. Prior to this step we will send you homework so you can understand the terms and alternatives. We will prepare the required child support or shared custody work sheet to give you a guideline of what the court will do if you don't agree.
We will analyze the data together, using advanced software, to accommodate both parties in a fair manner. The software allows us to see after tax comparisons of any changes we might make together. We will resolve the fair distribution of assets, child support issues and spousal support if appropriate. We will help you finalize a parenting plan.
You can quit now and do the rest yourself. We will prepare the most important forms necessary for you to file in court to obtain a dissolution or uncontested divorce including a Separation Agreement. If children are involved we will help you with the Child Support Computation work sheet and the appropriate parentage forms. We suggest you seek an independent review before filing. If you need help filing you can hire an attorney who provides limited scope services.
Do I Need any Special Equipment?
We conduct the mediation using whatever device both parties are most comfortable with: your iphone, ipad, android, computer or a regular phone. No special equipment is required. If the parties want to be able to see each other, the mediation will be conducted either by SKYPE or ZOOM. This requires that your computer or device has a camera. Neither program requires you to purchase software. If the parties do not wish the camera to be used, the mediation will be by phone or audio only. There is no charge for setup time.