Divorce isn’t just one event. It’s a procession of events that can often seem like a play in many acts. Unlike watching a play, however, you have the option to design the order of some of the events. Those who divorce can often be pioneers of the process without knowing it. Just coping in your own way can be something entirely new that no one has ever done before. When coping with divorce, some of the most difficult parts may have nothing to do with the legal aspects of the separation. For example, moving into a new space after divorce can be a process fraught with conflicting emotions, irritating logistics, and difficult choices. You might feel like the “exile,” first moving into the spare bedroom and then having to move into a different space, changing your commute to work and your morning routine, and maybe even staying with friends.
Managing the “Moving” Parts
When you’re divorcing, you might suddenly find yourself part of a team of people you rely on and consult with to make the divorce happen. From your lawyer and/or mediator to your therapist to your kids’ teachers to your financial advisor, you find you’re lost in a maze of forms to fill out and cues you need to respond to. At Divorce Options San Diego, we are a full-service San Diego divorce mediation firm that helps you handle everything from documentation and paperwork to moving out. It can be helpful to come to terms with the fact that all parts of the divorce—not just the legal aspects—are legitimate parts of the process. It’s okay to ask for help or expand your divorce team if moving is stressing you out. You might need, for example:
- A real estate agent
- Moving professionals, storage, and a U-Haul
- An interior design consultant for your new place
- A financial advisor
- An attorney who can advise on property or updating your will
At Divorce Options San Diego, divorce is always viewed as a system of moving parts and often involves many professionals. We help people manage their divorce teams and can act as divorce transition coaches, business coaches, and life coaches as well as mediators.
When it comes to moving, divorce is most definitely a hands-on affair. We can connect you with realtors and interior design consultants, and we can even help you move. Often, the “next act” of divorce—your new life after divorce—is neglected. At Divorce Options San Diego, we believe the design of your new space can help you shape your post-divorce life. Whether you rent or buy an apartment for yourself or acquire an apartment for “nesting” that you share with your co-parent so you can spend time with your kids, the design and organization of your space helps you lay down better patterns in your behavior and relationships. We can factor these choices into your divorce negotiations and put you in touch with professionals who can help you make the practical and design decisions.
Our Services and How We Can Help
At Divorce Options San Diego, we are highly qualified professional mediators and certified financial planners with psychoanalytical expertise. Our mediators are caring, educated professionals who build divorce around conflict resolution, closure, and practical solutions for your future life. Many people who are divorcing assume they are facing an expensive battle, expecting a “win-lose” outcome and numerous court appearances. At Divorce Options San Diego, we reframe divorce as an opportunity to generate creative, optimized solutions for your future and your kids’ future.
We never litigate. We don’t do adversarial work, and we never represent one spouse against another. We empower divorcing spouses to own their divorces and craft sustainable, effective mutual agreements that will last long after the divorce is finalized. We are a one-stop shop providing a bundle of essential divorce services, from paperwork, court documents, and financial analysis to divorce transition coaching, life coaching, and interior design. We cater to those with busy lives who want the best for themselves and their children. We can help you complete your divorce from beginning to end.
If you require help with your divorce transition, we offer divorce transition coaching, divorce coaching, life coaching, and business coaching. We can work with all aspects of your post-divorce life to make your transition as fruitful and empowering as possible, including career coaching, retraining, working with financial wealth advisors and other professionals, moving services, connecting you with realtors, and helping with interior design for your new space.
The San Diego divorce mediators at Divorce Options San Diego are all certified financial planners who apply thorough analysis to your divorce to achieve an optimized result that will cover all aspects of your financial situation. At Divorce Options San Diego, we emphasize an efficient, caring process that leaves out no detail relevant to your emotional, financial, and legal situations. This leaves you free to get on with your life and care for your kids and yourself, both during and after your divorce. We have offices in Solana Beach, CA, but can work with you remotely at your convenience using telephone, video conferencing apps, and other forms of electronic communication. Please contact us at (858) 281-2628 for a discreet and confidential consultation to see how we can help.
Divorce mediation offers you a way to end your marriage without hashing everything out in court and helps you keep things civil, which is especially important when children are involved. However, you may be worried about what exactly happens during mediation. Divorce Options San Diego—professionals who are revolutionizing the divorce process with expert divorce mediation San Diego couples trust to help them create amicable, customized divorce solutions—offer this advice about what to expect so you can be prepared and ready to work out an agreement.
A Mediator Is a Neutral Party
The first thing you need to remember during divorce mediation is that the mediator is there to help you and your spouse work through any disagreements. The mediator doesn’t take sides and can only offer you advice about what the laws are in California regarding divorce. This neutral position allows the focus to stay on you and your spouse working out what you both want in the divorce.
Working with a Mediator Separately Can Produce the Best Results
Dissolving a marriage can get complicated. Over the years, you might have done things together such as start a family, buy property, and even begin a joint business venture. For this reason, you shouldn’t expect to reach a complete agreement right away.
At Divorce Options San Diego, we talk with each party separately to learn what they really need from the process—psychologically, financially, and otherwise. Our professionals have training and extensive experience in strategic game theory and psychoanalysis, so we’re also able to help each party address the deep unconscious issues he or she is trying to solve.
We rarely conduct mediation through joint meetings because they heighten anxiety, exacerbate stress, and often cause the parties to be guided by their emotions rather than higher order cognition, which includes flexibility of thought, problem-solving and planning abilities, abstract thinking, and creativity. On the rare occasions when we do conduct joint sessions, we use video conferencing so the parties aren’t in the same room.
Mediators Gather Information Throughout the Process
The mediator will examine the assets and debts you’ve accumulated during the marriage, but that isn’t all a good mediator will focus on. At Divorce Options, we gather a lot of financial information while connecting emotionally, building trust, and forming alliances with our clients. We collect much of the information at the beginning of the process and continue to collect more as we go.
Our cases are complex, and all the issues tie together. Once we work out a community property net value, we do a thorough analysis and present at least a few options for division that are optimal financially, socially, relationally, and psychologically. Our goal is to manage these in a process that minimizes stress for each party. We do both a legal/financial analysis and a needs-based analysis and bring these two different worldviews into integration. These analyses may involve a wide variety of complex tasks, including those relating to child support, spousal support, QDROs, stock options division, family business valuation, family money, prenups, postnups, 401Ks, income differentials, and, sometimes, currency conversions due to international factors.
Mediation Doesn’t Mean You’ll Have to Compromise
In most cases, people get divorced because of betrayal in some way or incompatible life goals. You’ll probably go into mediation expecting it to be a back-and-forth process of give and take. However, if you’re willing to work through the process with an open mind, you’ll find that with high-quality mediation, there’s little to no compromise needed. Instead, the team from Divorce Options San Diego focuses on creating new options and new value.
All the financial, legal, psychological, and practical aspects of honorable, respectful divorce agreements can be managed by Divorce Options San Diego’s experienced, trustworthy divorce mediators. San Diego couples can rely on our specialized comprehensive process, which is so thorough they won’t need to hire attorneys. To learn how we can help you with every aspect of your divorce, call us today at (858) 281-2628.
When you’re first going through a divorce, it may feel like nothing good can possibly come from it. Alternatively, you may feel like you finally have a new lease on life. Either way, it helps to know that many people emerge from their divorces with a more positive outlook. During challenging times, keep these six positive things about divorce in mind to help you look toward the future with an optimistic attitude.
1. You Can Be a More Positive Role Model for Your Children
Conflicts with your spouse can make it hard to model good behavior. While you may try not to fight in front of the kids, they naturally pick up on tension. You may also find yourself so stressed out by the issues in your marriage that you can’t focus on enjoying special moments with your kids. Once you get a divorce, you can let go of the issues you had in the past and model kindness for your children.
2. You Can Finally Focus on Yourself
Marriage requires you to constantly take the other person’s needs into consideration. During your marriage, you may have skipped activities you enjoyed or spent a lot of your time doing things for your partner. Being single means you can make decisions based solely on your preferences. Rediscovering activities you loved before you were married can be intellectually, creatively, and emotionally invigorating.
3. You Might Find Things Get Easier with Your Ex
It may be hard to believe now, but divorce sometimes helps two people develop a better relationship. Without the stress of marriage, you may find your ex is enjoyable to talk to when you run into each other. Keeping things as civil as possible by working out your agreement through divorce mediation can help you retain respect for each other, which can turn into a nice friendship down the road. This is one of the most rewarding outcomes that can result from working with Divorce Options San Diego—experienced professionals who provide premier San Diego divorce mediation services to couples seeking creative divorce solutions.
4. You Can Discover New Interests
Couples often give up on a few hobbies once they have the responsibility of managing a marriage and children. Once you’re on your own, you’ll be free to start exploring new activities. Whether you gave up dancing in the past or have always wanted to try fly fishing, go out there and do it. You’ll feel good after doing some self-improvement. Even further, being divorced will give you greater freedom to explore and discover your more authentic self.
5. You May Feel Happy Again
People sometimes don’t realize how truly miserable they’ve become until their marriages end. Being unburdened by the weight of the stress your marriage generated offers the chance to enjoy more positive feelings. Discovering a deep sense of personal happiness influences every part of your life.
6. You Can Expand Your Social Circle
Whether you swore off dating again or can’t wait to jump into the dating pool, you now have the chance to get out there and mingle. Making new friends always feels good, and an expanded social network also means opportunities to find even more exciting activities to enjoy.
Ending a marriage isn’t easy, but working with divorce mediators can help your whole family look ahead to the next phase of life with optimism. The experienced San Diego divorce mediators at Divorce Options San Diego offer a one-stop shop approach for couples who are looking for a way to dissolve their marriages amicably and with mutual respect. To learn more about our groundbreaking approach to divorce, give us a call today at (858) 281-2628.
When divorcing couples live in a large city like San Diego, it’s relatively easy to part ways and start their new lives as separate individuals. Newly single ex-spouses have greater freedom to explore opportunities they may not have considered when they were married. However, if they have a child, it’s more complicated. How do you take opportunities and balance your needs with your responsibilities as a co-parent? In divorce, as in marriage, sacrifices may still be required for the good of both of you (and your child), but there are ways to have more of what you want and still be a responsible parent.
In mediation, working together gives back ownership of the divorce process to you both. You can decide how you co-parent, with the caveat that your child comes first. Location is a key factor in what’s best for your child. School districts can determine a lot. And what if your child already has a budding talent for something a certain school doesn’t cater to, such as sports or dance? Location will be very important in these decisions. The good news: mediation can help. When they work with experienced divorce mediators, San Diego couples can make these decisions together in a way that benefits the whole family. Often, these choices are more a matter of sensibility and logistics than anything else.
Being There for Your Child—Literally!
If you have the option of staying closer to your child, that may be preferable. If you’re living in a big city like San Diego, staying close may be more convenient. When you’re relocating completely, your parenting arrangement will be uneven. If you’re close by, it’s 50/50, but how close should you be? You don’t have to be next-door neighbors with your spouse (or live in the same house, as is all too common in modern divorces these days), but you may have to be careful not to promise a co-parenting arrangement you can’t deliver on. You don’t want to be the stereotype of the mom or dad who misses the child’s school play. These decisions call for quite a bit of compromise and, often, some sacrifice. If parents need to stay within the same part of the city for their child, these deals must be made taking into account both parents’ jobs. Who is the higher earner? Who has the longest commute? Who has the dream job that’s irreplaceable? Divorce Options San Diego uses proven conflict resolution strategies such as game theory to help you see your choices in the light of mutual benefit. As long as you can make your self-interests work for you and your child, a compromise can be found.
Putting Your Child’s Education & Outside Interests First
When deciding where to locate for your child, education is usually a top priority. There may be other concerns, such as whether the area is safe and child friendly or whether your child’s friends live there. The problem is parents can have different ideas about what constitutes a good education. Some parents may want their child to have private school education. Other parents may prefer public schools.
Then there are after-school activities. Depending on the age of your child, the school’s focus may need to line up with what the child wants for his or her career or college education. The child’s after-school activities, if they’re in a different location than the child’s school, may need to be considered in terms of your new location. Again, these decisions can involve differing values, from ideas about parenting (how much you want your child to work at his or her favorite activity and how much you’d like to see him or her just be a child), to social, political, and religious ideas about the kind of school your child attends. At Divorce Options San Diego, we tackle these choices on a number of levels, both practical and emotional. We can use psychoanalytical know-how to help you make decisions that are a reflection of your values, supportive of your co-parent, and in your child’s best interests.
Using Our Mediation Services: How We Can Help
At Divorce Options San Diego, our mediators are caring, educated professionals who build divorce around conflict resolution, closure, and practical solutions for your future life, even beyond divorce. We are highly qualified professional mediators and certified financial planners with psychoanalytical expertise. Contrary to the stereotype of the traditional conflict-ridden divorce, we focus on mutual benefit. We reframe divorce as an opportunity to generate creative, optimized solutions for your future and your children’s future. We empower divorcing spouses to own their divorce and craft sustainable, effective mutual agreements that will last long after the divorce is finalized.
We are a one-stop shop providing a bundle of essential divorce services, from paperwork, court documents, and financial analysis through divorce transition coaching, life coaching, and interior design. We cater to those with busy lives who want the best for themselves and their children. We can help you with all aspects of your post-divorce life, including finding schools for your children and managing the challenges of balancing parenting and career. If appearing in person is difficult, we can mediate remotely, which can be helpful when ex-spouses have relocated or homemakers and full-time workers have different schedules. You can mediate with your spouse in the same room or not, depending on your comfort level.
San Diego Divorce Options puts a high premium on a peaceful, child-centered divorce. We use developmental psychology, attachment theory, psychology of grieving, and family systems psychology to help you and your children through a difficult emotional transition. We can assist you with the tools to stay connected to your child even if you aren’t the primary caregiver. With our expertise and experience in divorce mediation, San Diego couples can be confident in our 100 percent confidential process and rest assured their divorces will be handled with care and privacy. We emphasize an efficient process that leaves you free to get on with your life and care for your kids and yourself, both during and after your divorce. We have offices in Solana Beach, CA, but can work with you remotely if necessary using telephone, video conferencing apps, and other forms of electronic communication. Please contact us at (858) 281-2628 for a discreet and confidential consultation to see how we can help with your divorce mediation.
Where you live can determine a lot of things, from your cost of living to your job opportunities to your relationships. One of the most painful things that can happen in a divorce is relocating to a place where you aren’t physically able to see your child as much, which may mean moving to a different town or suburb of San Diego, where your work schedule or traffic prevents you from traveling. It could also mean moving out of state or even internationally. It’s often more a question of logistics than anything else. At Divorce Options San Diego, we frequently work with couples who need multistate parenting plans, regional parenting plans, and international parenting plans, helping them design their divorces with their locations in mind. Each of these types of parenting plans has its own unique characteristics, and we write all of these for our clients.
Being More Than a Weekend Mom or Dad
Whether you’re a weekend mom or dad or you only see your child during holidays, the first thing you’ll have to deal with is the adjustment, which can be heartbreaking. Divorced parents often talk about the sadness of “the switch,” when you’re waving goodbye in the rearview mirror after you hand your child over to your co-parent. Parents who have relocated or live too far away for equal parenting arrangements face the common problem of being the “fun,” weekend, or holiday parent, which may leave you feeling left out of the child’s life in other important everyday ways.
Uneven parenting calls for careful negotiation with your co-parent over not just the quantity but also the quality and function of time spent with your child. There may be issues ranging from a parent’s protectiveness (banning children from doing risky activities such as horse riding), to an uneven breakdown of responsibilities, to a lack of information. For example, one parent might leave another parent uninformed about important healthcare information. When roles are uneven and information isn’t forthcoming, it can be difficult to remain connected to your child and provide care and guidance. In mediation, you can make an overview of your current parenting arrangements and agree on a parenting plan that gives you both the opportunity to remain connected to your child. At Divorce Options San Diego, we know parenting plans aren’t just a matter of fixed scheduling. They must be both strategic and flexible to take advantage of important and day-to-day events in the child’s life.
Understanding the Power of Electronic Communication
In a recent study published in the Journal of Family Issues, teenagers were found to do better when parents kept in touch via messaging apps such as WhatsApp. Even if messages are short, there’s great value for a relocated parent in maintaining a consistent presence in his or her child’s life. Kids can bond with parents over many things that can be shared and discussed remotely, such as sports results, TV shows, sharing photos, or playing online games. Negotiating with your co-parent might be necessary so he or she doesn’t interpret your communication with your child as monitoring his or her parenting, and shared content should be suitable for the child’s developmental level.
Being more than the “fun” mom or dad could involve helping your child with homework (remotely via Skype or Zoom). It could also involve keeping tabs on your child’s Internet use. The important thing is that in mediation, you and your co-parent can decide. Mediation is non-adversarial and doesn’t dictate your parenting plan or fix it in place forever. At Divorce Options San Diego, we emphasize empowerment, growth, and the value of ongoing negotiation and the freedom to adjust your plan.
Looking After Yourself Helps You Be There for Your Child
When you only see your child occasionally, it can impose a burden on you to perform or make you feel left out of the important decisions about your child. Being the weekend mom or dad could mean every holiday is spent being a parent. At Divorce Options San Diego, we combine the practical with the emotional, using psychoanalytical and mathematical tools to help you shape parenting arrangements in a mindful way. We can work with the developmental level and attachment styles of the child. For example, a younger child may need more physical contact and cuddles or, in the case of a distantly relocated parent, more screen time (rather than text messages), which could include reading a bedtime story to your child. We also work with your own psychological needs and help you design a schedule to reflect your legitimate needs, giving you more energy to be a good parent.
Using Mediation Services: How We Can Help
At Divorce Options San Diego, we are highly qualified professional San Diego divorce mediators and certified financial planners with psychoanalytical expertise. Our mediators are caring, educated professionals who build divorce around conflict resolution, closure, and practical solutions for your future life, including beyond divorce. When considering divorce, many people assume they’re facing an expensive battle, expecting a “win-lose” outcome and numerous court appearances. At Divorce Options San Diego, we reframe divorce as an opportunity to generate creative, optimized solutions for your future and your children’s future.
We empower divorcing spouses to own their divorce and craft sustainable, effective mutual agreements that will last long after the divorce is finalized. We are a one-stop shop providing a bundle of essential divorce services, from paperwork, court documents, and financial analysis through divorce transition coaching, life coaching, and interior design. We cater to those with busy lives who want the best for themselves and their children. If appearing in person is difficult, we can mediate remotely. We use Zoom, Skype video, web conferencing, texting, and other forms of electronic communication for convenience, multistage situations, and international situations. You can mediate with your spouse in the same room or not, depending on your comfort level.
Divorce Options San Diego puts a high premium on a peaceful, child-centered divorce. We use developmental psychology, attachment theory, psychology of grieving, and family systems psychology to help you and your children through the difficult emotional transition. We help co-parents build parenting plans that are legally sound and will withstand the challenges of parenting, even if national or international relocation is involved. We can assist you with the tools to stay connected to your child even if you aren’t the primary caregiver. Mediation is a 100 percent confidential process, so you can be assured your divorce will be handled with care and privacy. At Divorce Options San Diego, we emphasize an efficient, caring process that leaves out no detail relevant to your emotional, financial, or legal situation and your children’s needs, which leaves you free to get on with your life and care for your kids and yourself, both during and after your divorce. We have offices in Solana Beach, CA, but can work with you remotely if necessary using telephone, video conferencing apps, and other forms of electronic communication. Please contact us at (858) 281-2628 for a discreet and confidential consultation to see how we can help with your San Diego divorce mediation.
By the time you choose to file for divorce, you may feel as though you’ve run out of options for saving your marriage. While you may no longer be able to live with your spouse, you do have options for planning a divorce that keep things as amicable as possible. Knowing about these options for getting divorced can help you take the right first steps toward dissolving your marriage. The experts from Divorce Options San Diego, the divorce mediators San Diego couples can rely on to manage all the financial, legal, and practical aspects of respectful divorce agreements, offer information about your varied choices.
You Can Skip Giving a Specific Reason
California is considered to be a no-fault state, which means you don’t have to give a specific reason for getting a divorce. Being able to leave personal issues such as infidelity out of the public records is a benefit that also allows you and your spouse to begin your new lives with a clean slate. When you file for your divorce, you can simply say you have irreconcilable differences so no one has to assume guilt for the ending of your marriage.
You Can Sometimes Choose the County
The state of California has a residency requirement of at least six months before you can get a divorce from your spouse. You’ll also need to live in a county for three months before you file for divorce there. In some cases, you and your spouse may meet the California residency requirement but live in separate counties. If so, you can choose which county to file in as long as you’ve lived in your respective counties long enough to fit the residency requirements.
You May Be Eligible for a Summary Dissolution
A summary dissolution is a faster and easier option compared to a traditional divorce. If you’ve only been married for a short time, it might be worth checking to see if you’re eligible for this option. However, it isn’t possible for everyone. To dissolve your marriage or domestic partnership in this manner, you’ll need to meet specific criteria that demonstrate the simplicity of ending your relationship. According to Section 2400 of the California Family Code, these include:
A marriage may be dissolved by the summary dissolution procedure provided in this chapter if all of the following conditions exist at the time the proceeding is commenced:
- Either party has met the jurisdictional requirements of Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 2320) with regard to dissolution of marriage.
- Irreconcilable differences have caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage and the marriage should be dissolved.
- There are no children of the relationship of the parties born before or during the marriage or adopted by the parties during the marriage, and the wife, to her knowledge, is not pregnant.
- The marriage is not more than five years in duration at the time the petition is filed.
The conditions listed above are only a part of the relevant law regarding summary dissolution in California. For full information about this option, make sure to seek the advice of a professional legal services provider.
You Can Use Mediation to Resolve Your Divorce Out of Court
The prospect of going to court tends to increase the stress involved with getting a divorce. In fact, battling things out with your spouse in the presence of a judge who doesn’t know your relationship isn’t the best way to handle your divorce. With divorce mediation, San Diego couples can talk about the various aspects of the divorce with a neutral party. By coming to an agreement through mediation, you can then draft an agreement that’s processed by the court without having to stand before a judge.
Couples can rely on Divorce Options San Diego’s experienced divorce mediators to manage every aspect of their divorces, and our focus is on ensuring fairness and mutual satisfaction for both spouses. To learn more about how our comprehensive divorce mediation process can be the ideal solution for you, call Divorce Options San Diego today at (858) 281-2628.
The content in this blog is meant solely for informational purposes and educational discussion of legal topics, services, and products. It provides only general information about legal matters. It is not legal advice, and it should not be treated as legal advice.
Limitation of warranties: The legal information in this blog and on this website is offered “as is,” with no warranties or representations, either express or implied. Divorce Options San Diego makes no representations or warranties in relation to the legal information on this website.
Professional help: The information in this blog and on this website is not to be relied upon as an alternative to legal assistance/advice from an attorney or other professional provider of legal services. If you have any particular questions about any specific legal matter, you should consult an attorney or other professional legal services provider.
The decisions you make during divorce mediation will affect your life for many years. While you may just want to hurry up and get your divorce over with, it will pay off in the long run if you carefully consider all your options. Knowing what to ask for in your divorce mediation helps you focus on your needs with greater clarity. The team from Divorce Options San Diego—the experts in San Diego divorce mediation who offer a comprehensive, resolution-based alternative to expensive, time-consuming divorce litigation—explains what you should ask for in divorce mediation.
1. Work with Your Spouse to Create a Master List of Assets and Debts
One of the main things that’s decided in divorce mediation is how your shared property is to be divided. However, you may not be fully aware of all the information that surrounds what’s owned in your marriage. For instance, your spouse may have a retirement account you’re entitled to a portion of, or you may not know the value of your shared art collection. When you request a list of assets, make sure to also have one of your own. These lists can then be used to determine exactly what property must be divided.
2. Work with Your Spouse to Create a Detailed Schedule for Each Child
Depending on the various roles you play as parents, you may not know all the details about your children’s daily schedule. For instance, it’s common for one parent to handle things such as taking the children to sports practices while the other parent works. However, this information can affect child custody, since there may be times when it’s in the best interests of the children to carry out normal activities. Having your children’s schedule in hand can help you decide which visitation times are best.
3. Work with Your Mediation Team to Understand the Basic Applicable Laws
Your divorce mediation team helps you and your spouse work out your differences to find a solution that makes everyone happier. While this process gives you vast amounts of leeway to create a personalized divorce plan, you’ll still need to comply with the current California laws to ensure your divorce receives the court’s approval. For instance, a certain amount of child or spousal support must be paid in most cases. Understanding this requirement can help you identify a starting point for your negotiations.
4. Work with Your Mediator Honestly About Your Life Goals
Ideally, you should have some ideas in mind for what you hope to get out of the mediation process. Tell your mediator what your one-year and five-year plans are. For example, you may want primary custody of your children or to keep the house. Make sure to speak up for yourself and request the things you want during the discussions. In the end, you’re your best advocate, since you’ll need to live with these decisions.
5. Work with Your Mediator to Develop a Critical Thinking Tool Kit
During your divorce mediation, you may be presented with requests from your spouse that you’re not sure how to respond to at first. You can always ask for more time to think about a situation to see how you feel about it after your initial reaction. Taking time to think things over can keep stress levels down while also giving everyone a chance to come back with fresh perspectives on the situation.
Mediation offers a divorce solution that’s focused on meeting the needs of everyone in the family. Couples looking for an alternative to the expense and acrimony of traditional attorney-centered divorce should reach out to the experienced professionals at Divorce Options San Diego. We’re San Diego divorce mediators you can trust to help you dissolve your marriage in a way that’s based on respect and mutual satisfaction. Give us a call today at (858) 281-2628 to learn more.
No matter how hard a couple tries, sometimes a marriage ends in divorce. When it seems this is the path a relationship is going to take, it’s best to prepare in advance. Taking the time to prepare can make the divorce process simpler and reduce stress and conflict. The professionals from Divorce Options San Diego, the experts in divorce mediation San Diego couples rely on for alternatives to contentious and costly divorce proceedings, offer the following advice about how to prepare for a divorce.
Gather Financial Information
One goal of divorce is to divide assets and debts equally, which means you must know where you stand financially before proceeding. First, determine what you and your spouse own, including bank accounts, property, vehicles, personal businesses, pension plans, stocks and bonds, inheritances, artwork, and other belongings. Gather any paperwork related to these items, such as account numbers, titles, and deeds, and determine if the items were bought with joint or separate bank accounts. Next, look at what you owe, which may include mortgages, credit cards, and other loans. Again, gather account information related to debts. The best way to get a clear picture of debt is to obtain a credit report for you and your spouse.
Determine Your Income
Marital debt is typically split by who is better able to financially resolve the debt, which means you’ll need a clear picture of your income as well as your spouse’s. Determining each partner’s income can be more difficult if a business is owned and income fluctuates. Paycheck stubs, financial business statements, and bank account statements can give you a better picture of overall income. Additionally, it’s a good idea to have at least the past three years of tax returns.
Make a Budget
With only one income, your post-divorce budget will look vastly different than your budget when you were married. Set a budget now to prevent financial pitfalls in your future. Make a list of your bills. Include mortgage or rent, utilities, communication, vehicle expenses, gas, food, and entertainment. Next, determine if your current income will cover the cost of these bills. If it doesn’t, you may need to look at supplementing your income or cutting back on expenses.
If most of your mortgages, property, and credit cards were under your spouse’s name, you may need to establish credit for yourself to make future purchases. Obtain a credit card with a modest credit limit and pay it in full each month to build your credit.
Consider Your Insurance Coverage
You should work with your spouse to make sure all your insurance policies—for the house, other property, your children, and each other—are in order. If you were previously covered under your spouse’s medical insurance, you’re going to have to acquire your own. Talk with your employer or an insurance agent to purchase insurance coverage. If you’re going to have a gap in your insurance coverage and need any medical procedures or dental work done, it may be a good idea to take care of those now while you still have coverage.
One spouse cannot remove the other from his or her insurance during the divorce proceedings. After the divorce is final, the payee spouse cannot be on the policy of the working spouse who has that policy. However, under certain circumstances, a court order can be obtained that mandates continued coverage for the payee spouse. In that case, there must also be a review of whether the working spouse must claim the payee spouse as a dependent for tax purposes.
Don’t Make a Move
While going through a divorce, it may be tempting to move out of the house. Unless a spouse is abusive, most experts recommend staying put. Moving during a divorce may affect your interest in the property and could affect where your children go to school.
Divorce is never easy, so knowing how to prepare for it can help a great deal as you go through the process. Another great way to approach divorce is to work with experienced divorce mediators. San Diego couples get tremendous benefits from the expertise of the team at Divorce Options San Diego. With backgrounds in law, finance, conflict resolution, and psychology, we work closely with couples, helping them end their marriages with respect and mutual satisfaction so they can move on to the next stages of their lives. To learn more about our groundbreaking divorce mediation process, give us a call today at (858) 281-2628.
Divorce mediation makes it possible to handle your case out of court, which has the advantage of keeping things out of the public eye, and many people find it eases strain on their relationships. Children also tend to fare better when their parents work out their differences in mediation and come to an agreement regarding hot-button issues such as child custody and support. While you may already be aware of what’s involved with the mediation process, a common concern people have is what happens after those sessions are over. The team from Divorce Options San Diego—experienced professionals who provide expert-driven San Diego divorce mediation couples can rely on to create optimal customized divorce solutions—offer this guide to the next important steps to take after divorce mediation is complete.
Review the Tentative Settlement Agreement
Divorce mediation may continue for six weeks to six months. However, you can expect to eventually reach an agreement that complies with California laws and addresses your personal needs. Once this happens, the mediator will draft a tentative settlement agreement that outlines exactly how everything will proceed regarding the distribution of property, child custody, and any other pertinent parts of your divorce. You and your spouse will then need to review this agreement and determine it’s exactly how you want it. If it isn’t, you’ll work with the mediator to develop the next draft and return to your mediation sessions. If it is, the mediator will create a finalized copy to submit to the court.
Wait for the Final Agreement to Be Approved
The final settlement agreement must go through the court and be approved by the judge. Working with a mediator ensures the agreement follows all applicable laws so it’s more likely to be approved. Once the judge signs the agreement, you can consider it to be active. As long as you’ve met the mandatory six-month waiting period, your divorce will be finalized.
Work to Make Sure You Follow the Agreement
The agreements you come to in your mediation sessions are meant to be adhered to, and your finalized divorce agreement is a binding legal order. Although it may be challenging at times, you should always try your best to honor your agreement regarding the division of finances and property as well as your agreed-upon parenting responsibilities, if you have children.
Know When to Return for Future Mediation
While every effort is made to address potential contingencies in your divorce agreement, future disagreements and conflicts might arise down the road that are sometimes unforeseeable. For instance, you may need to move outside of the agreed-upon boundaries you created as part of your parenting plans. Alternatively, you may need to modify child support or shared parenting time as your children’s needs change. When this happens, you can have the court modify your divorce agreement. To begin the process, you need to return for mediation to create a new settlement everyone agrees upon.
If you need more detailed information about the mediation process, call on the experts at Divorce Options San Diego. All the financial, legal, psychological, and practical aspects of honorable, respectful divorce agreements can be managed by Divorce Options San Diego’s experienced, trustworthy San Diego divorce mediators. Couples can rely on our specialized comprehensive process, which is so thorough they won’t need to hire attorneys. To learn how we can help you with every aspect of your divorce, call us today at (858) 281-2628.