After 20 years of being a divorce mediator, I have seen plenty of mistakes. Yes, I’ve seen plenty of ridiculous behaviors and decisions in my mediations, but telling those stories isn’t going to help you. You need to know how to avoid the most common mistakes in divorce mediation.

 

  1. Assuming what is best for you is also best for your kids. Your kids have different wants and needs than you do. Yes, you love your kids and would take a bullet for your kids. But, that doesn’t mean your needs are their needs. For instance, moving to a new school district so that you no longer need to drive 30 minutes to the same job that you’ve held for many years isn’t about them; it’s about you. Bringing your new love around the kids as a “friend” within months of the split, isn’t about them; it’s about you.
  2. Refusing to pay a few hundred dollars for a valuation so that you can save tens of thousands of dollars. Too many people in a divorce are to focused on making it “easy” that they refuse to get all the information. If you don’t know how much the pension or the house is worth, getting an appraisal for a few hundred dollars is likely to save you tens of thousands of dollars in the negotiation. Don’t sell yourself short.
  3. Coming in “hot” with an offer to settle the divorce with little (or no) information to base it upon. I fully appreciate wanting to quickly finalize a divorce. But, how can the other party determine if the offer is fair unless all the information is on the table? It’s similar to trying to purchase a house without looking at sale prices of similar homes. How does anyone analyze an offer? By looking at information.
  4. Expecting your divorce isn’t going to cost much. Mediation will greatly reduce the costs of your divorce, but it won’t be free, nor will it be close to free. Heck, your kid’s orthodontia bill is $5,000. Your refinance costs are $5,000. Your new hot water tank is $7,000. Your divorce will cost you several thousand dollars, too.
  5.  Expecting one professional can handle EVERYTHING in your divorce. If you or your spouse has retirement that needs to be divided or valued, a business that needs to be analyzed or valued, or if outstanding tax liabilities exist, then you need to embrace the reality that more than one professional will be necessary to be involved in your divorce. Hiring one set of experts greatly reduces the costs while still providing the necessary information.

 

I want to help you cut through the drama of divorce. Do you still have questions? Click here to schedule a 15-minute telephone consult.

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