You and your spouse have made the decision to divorce. Should you go to court or hire a mediator?
Once you're both in agreement that you need a divorce, several areas need to be discussed and resolved: You'll need to agree on how the property you legally own together (which may include property you don't consider to be shared!) must be divided up. You'll need to agree on how much alimony (or "Spousal Support") is to be paid, if any. If you have young children, you'll need to decide how care and decision-making for them is going to be shared, and you'll need to address child support payments. When parties cannot agree about how any of those factors should be resolved, they may end up having the issue decided for them in court by a judge. The court process is surprisingly difficult, expensive, and time consuming. Mediation is an alternative process that works to help people come to their own agreement. If a divorcing couple can agree as to all of the issues above, the family court may simply adopt the terms of the couple's agreement as the final divorce order.
About the Process
Separation and divorce mediation is a voluntary settlement process used frequently and successfully by couples who want to divorce and or separate. Mediation provides parties the opportunity to plan their separate futures in an atmosphere of cooperation and mutual respect. With the help of the mediator, parties can reach an agreement that is custom made for their family, finances, and future.
Divorce mediation is the preferred choice for couples and families facing separation and divorce because it provides a cost saving way to reach agreements in a collaborative setting. Mediation gives parties more control over the process; as a result, it saves both time and money.
I work cooperatively with my clients throughout this process in a respectful, creative and thoughtful way. The mediation process is designed to make sure each person feels heard and understood. Each party is encouraged to ask questions and to talk about what is most important to them. My goal is to help the parties reach fair and mutually acceptable agreements.
Clients often tell me they are overwhelmed by the legal process, and sometimes by all the decisions they are required to make. My job is to work as an impartial third party. I give my clients information about the legal process, helping them understand the procedures thus making it all seem less daunting. My clients know they have a caring professional working with them through each step of the way from separation up to the final agreement.
About William Peever, B.S. J.D.
Bill has attended and received over 1000 hours training in mediation, family and divorce law, divorce and its effect on families and children, finances and divorce, tax law related to divorce, child development, substance abuse and domestic violence. He received a B.S. in mediation from Bennington College, and was first certified in divorce and family mediation fifteen years ago by Johnson State University in Vermont. Bill continued his education in dispute resolution, and graduated in the top ten percent from law school, earning a special recognition award in the field of Mediation and Dispute Resolution.