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What Are My Divorce Options?

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A power point presentation comparing advantages and disadvantages of various options for divorce

A power point presentation comparing advantages and disadvantages of various options for divorce

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  • 1. I’m Getting Divorced So, what’s next?
    A presentation by
    Just Mediation, LLC
    “Helping People Tackle Problems
    Instead of Each Other”
    ©2010 by Just Mediation, LLC, for more information: www.xanskinner.com 803-414-0185
  • 2. Divorce Options
    What are my options?
    And how do I choose?
    Important Disclaimer: The contents of this slideshow represent the opinion of the author in general circumstances. This is not legal advice for your situation and does not create an attorney client or mediator client relationship. While it is hoped that this information will help you in ascertaining your general options, divorce is a serious legal action. Decisions regarding divorce should only be made after consultation with an attorney in your jurisdiction, not based on material you read or hear somewhere. Discuss these ideas with your lawyer.
    ©2010 by Just Mediation, LLC, for more information: www.xanskinner.com 803-414-0185
  • 3. Key Considerations
    FAIR
    Need to protect both spouses and children, now and in the future
    Need to embrace values and unique circumstances of the individual family
    COMPREHENSIVE
    Need to provide workable roadmap for present and future needs
    Need to provide closure and finality
    COST EFFECTIVE
    Need for efficient, streamlined process
    Need to ensure that optimum use has been made of services engaged
    OTHER GOALS
    Protect privacy
    Support spouses and children through the divorce transition
    Provide a more positive framework for future dealings
    ©2010 by Just Mediation, LLC, for more information: www.xanskinner.com 803-414-0185
  • 4. Key Considerations
    DIVORCE IS A SERIOUS LEGAL MATTER!
    Legal rights need to be protected
    Divorce has long term consequences
    Penny Wise can be Pound Foolish
    HOW CAN I KNOW WHAT
    LEVEL OF PROTECTION I NEED?
    ©2010 by Just Mediation, LLC, for more information: www.xanskinner.com 803-414-0185
  • 5. Goals
    A DIVORCE SOLUTION IDEALLY WILL BE
    FAIR TO BOTH PARTIES
    REFLECTIVE OF FAMILY’S INDIVIDUAL NEEDS, CIRCUMSTANCES, AND VALUES
    PROVIDE FINALITY (COMPREHENSIVE, ENFORCEABLE)
    WORKABLE
    COST EFFECTIVE
    ©2010 by Just Mediation, LLC, for more information: www.xanskinner.com 803-414-0185
  • 6. Is Divorce Mediation Right For Me?
    Most divorce cases will be settled through
    negotiation, using either mediators or attorneys!
    The issue is not whether, but when,
    negotiation or mediation will occur.
    The crucial questions are: “How much assistance
    do I need from attorneys and the judicial process
    for this life changing event?” and
    “Do I settle my case before, or after, legal procedures have been
    set in motion and with, or without, attorney guidance?”
    ©2010 by Just Mediation, LLC, for more information: www.xanskinner.com 803-414-0185
  • 7. Ask not whether you will mediate …Ask when and how you want to mediate
    Most divorces are mediated eventually. The question is not whether, but when to mediate.
    WHEN TO
    MEDIATE ?
    ©2010 by Just Mediation, LLC, for more information: www.xanskinner.com 803-414-0185
  • 8. One Size Does Not Fit All!
    ©2010 by Just Mediation, LLC, for more information: www.xanskinner.com 803-414-0185
    Some cases require much more assistance than others with either legal advice, judicial process, or both
    How can you know in advance how much assistance you will need from the court system?
  • 9. One Size Does Not Fit All!
    Bullying, as manifested by
    • withholding of information
    • 10. threats
    • 11. demands out of proportion to need
    Power Balanced / Umbalanced
    ©2010 by Just Mediation, LLC, for more information: www.xanskinner.com 803-414-0185
  • 12. One Size Does Not Fit All!
    Do you have the information you need to make an informed choice about your divorce settlement?
    • Do you know what you want?
    • 13. Are you aware of what you would be entitled to?
    • 14. What more information do you need to make a sound decision?
    ©2010 by Just Mediation, LLC, for more information: www.xanskinner.com 803-414-0185
  • 15. The Power/Information GridWhere do I fall?
    Power balanced
    Power
    unbalanced
    Unaware of options Aware of options
    ©2010 by Just Mediation, LLC, for more information: www.xanskinner.com 803-414-0185
  • 16. A Suggested Analysis
    ©2010 by Just Mediation, LLC, for more information: www.xanskinner.com 803-414-0185
  • 17. Balancing of Power
    If your relationship is in either of the lower of the two descriptions in this triangle, you should not attempt to negotiate your divorce without the help of an attorney.
    When power is not balanced in a relationship, the force of the law is necessary to protect the rights of the less empowered spouse.
    The further down on the triangle your relationship is, the more intervention and assistance you will need from the court system to ensure fairness of result.
    ©2010 by Just Mediation, LLC, for more information: www.xanskinner.com 803-414-0185
  • 18. Divorce Mediation Utilizing Attorney and Legal Process
    If you feel you are in the bottom tier on this triangle, then you need the services of an attorney and judicial process to ensure that power is balanced during your divorce negotiations.
    This is not to say that your divorce cannot be mediated. Rather, your attorney will utilize legal tools such as financial discovery, to balance access to information and increase confidence and ability to negotiate.
    Most divorce cases that go through the court system are, eventually, settled through mediation, but only after full discovery and financial disclosure has been completed.
    ©2010 by Just Mediation, LLC, for more information: www.xanskinner.com 803-414-0185
  • 19. Collaborative Divorce
    If you are in the middle tier of this triangle, judicial process may be needed, but perhaps can be avoided if both spouses commit to and participate in full disclosure .
    The assistance of an attorney is helpful in cases falling in the middle, to ask the hard questions and pursue full disclosure.
    Collaborative Divorce is the best option for cases where power is balanced and both spouses are committed to fairness, but they’re not quite sure what is fair, when spouses want to have attorneys negotiate on their behalf. .
    .
    ©2010 by Just Mediation, LLC, for more information: www.xanskinner.com 803-414-0185
  • 20. Mediator Facilitated Divorce using unbundled legal services and other professional services
    If you and your spouse are both willing to make full disclosure, if you both seek to be fair, and you want to do what is best for the family regardless of what a court of law might order, then mediated divorce may be a good option for you.
    Either or both spouses may consult an attorney at any stage and involve the attorney in negotiations. And, an attorney may be utilized to formalize the divorce agreement into a final divorce decree.
    Financial, counseling, and other experts are utilized as needed to assist the family in making adjustments and reaching agreements.
    ©2010 by Just Mediation, LLC, for more information: www.xanskinner.com 803-414-0185
  • 21. Once you’ve decided on a general approach depending on your needs
    What are your specific options?
    ©2010 by Just Mediation, LLC, for more information: www.xanskinner.com 803-414-0185
  • 22. The Options:A Quick overview (with more detail next)
    LITIGATED DIVORCE : two lawyers, court filings, Discovery, expert witnesses for each, hearings, judicial rulings
    COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE: two lawyers, experts, sharing of information and experts, all settled out of court
    MEDIATOR ASSISTED DIVORCE: unbundled legal services, sharing of information and experts, all settled out of court
    THE ORIGINAL COST-CUTTER (Just one lawyer): one lawyer, no financial disclosure, no experts, settled out of court
    PURELY DO-IT-YOURSELF, WITHOUT ASSISTANCE: no lawyers, no financial disclosure, no experts, settled out of court
    ©2010 by Just Mediation, LLC, for more information: www.xanskinner.com 803-414-0185
  • 23. Litigated Divorce(with full trial)
    A FULLY LITIGATED, ADVERSARIAL DIVORCE
    WITH TEMPORARY AND FINAL COURT HEARINGS
    Parties engage in court ordered Discovery, including Interrogatories, Requests for Admission, and Depositions
    Private investigators and financial experts are utilized,
    deposed, and testify
    A Guardian Ad Litem is often utilized to investigate and testify concerning what is generically labeled “child custody”
    Temporary and Final Court Hearings are held
    The court calls the shots and makes the decisions
    Attorneys give clients advice, and operate within the analytical framework of positions that are largely determined by what a court would order
    Cost: $15,000 - $40,000 per side
    ©2010 by Just Mediation, LLC, for more information: www.xanskinner.com 803-414-0185
  • 24. Litigated Divorce(without trial)
    FULLY LITIGATED, ADVERSARIAL PROCESS …
    THAT SETTLES AHEAD OF COURT DATE
    Parties engage in court ordered Discovery, including Interrogatories, Requests for Admission, and Depositions
    Private investigators may be utilized and deposed
    Financial experts are utilized and deposed
    A Guardian Ad Litem is often utilized to investigate and report
    Temporary hearing is held, with terms of order decreed by judge
    Whatever is ordered in the temporary hearing becomes the status quo
    The court calls the shots and makes the decisions until …
    Evaluative style mediation occurs just prior to final hearing is used to generate attorney / judicially-oriented settlement options
    Cost: $10,000 - $20,000 per side
    ©2010 by Just Mediation, LLC, for more information: www.xanskinner.com 803-414-0185
  • 25. Collaborative Divorce
    COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE:
    AN ATTORNEY-DIRECTED PROCESS
    Parties each retain their own, collaboratively trained attorney
    Parties agree to principles of fairness and full disclosure
    The parties agree to share and take advantage of expertise of subject matter experts, such as accountants and child specialists
    The attorneys may recommend individual helpers such as divorce coaches or vocational rehabilitation experts
    The parties, and all professionals, agree to settle the case out of court
    Attorneys direct the process and negotiate on behalf of clients
    Average cost: $5,000 - $10,000 per side, depending on services needed
    ©2010 by Just Mediation, LLC, for more information: www.xanskinner.com 803-414-0185
  • 26. Mediator With Unbundled Services
    MEDIATOR ASSISTED DIVORCE AGREEMENT
    UTILIZING UNBUNDLED LEGAL SERVICES
    Parties commit to principles of fairness and agree to full disclosure
    A transformative style mediator assists the parties in understanding their conflict better, in developing processes for resolving conflict, and in reaching agreement that will become their divorce decree
    Experts are engaged as needed to assist parties in reaching fair, comprehensive agreements covering every aspect of their divorce:
    financial and tax experts, child psychologists, individual therapists, vocational experts, and attorneys to whatever extent they are needed
    Cost: $500 - $4,500 per side, depending on services needed
    ©2010 by Just Mediation, LLC, for more information: www.xanskinner.com 803-414-0185
  • 27. Just One Lawyer
    THE ORIGINAL COST CUTTER:
    JUST ONE LAWYER
    The parties agree between themselves on terms of settlement and engage an attorney just to draft the agreement
    The attorney can only represent one side. The non-hiring spouse is unrepresented or engages a different attorney on an hourly basis to review the settlement papers
    There is no mechanism for disclosure or discovery of financial assets
    Outside experts are not utilized for help in formulating financial or parenting plans or for adjustment and re-employment issues
    If talks break down, divorce becomes contested and both sides must hire lawyers
    Cost: $500- $3,000, unless the process falls apart or serious errors occur
    ©2010 by Just Mediation, LLC, for more information: www.xanskinner.com 803-414-0185
  • 28. DIYD: Do It Yourself Divorce
    DO-IT-YOURSELF DIVORCE
    Parties reach agreement by themselves
    Parties draft their own agreement
    Parties file their own court papers, and appear in court pro se
    Parties may receive advice from an attorney on an hourly basis
    Cost: about $150 - $500 per side
    (depending on legal services hired,
    and unless serious mistakes are made)
    ©2010 by Just Mediation, LLC, for more information: www.xanskinner.com 803-414-0185
  • 29. How does each meet key goals?
    Fairness
    Custom Fit
    Comprehensive
    Practical
    Cost Effective
    ©2010 by Just Mediation, LLC, for more information: www.xanskinner.com 803-414-0185
  • 30. FAIRNESS
    ©2010 by Just Mediation, LLC, for more information: www.xanskinner.com 803-414-0185
  • 31. CUSTOM FIT
    ©2010 by Just Mediation, LLC, for more information: www.xanskinner.com 803-414-0185
  • 32. COMPREHENSIVENESS
    ©2010 by Just Mediation, LLC, for more information: www.xanskinner.com 803-414-0185
  • 33. PRACTICAL
    ©2010 by Just Mediation, LLC, for more information: www.xanskinner.com 803-414-0185
  • 34. COST EFFECTIVENESS
    ©2010 by Just Mediation, LLC, for more information: www.xanskinner.com 803-414-0185
  • 35. So Again, the Options:Which seems right for you?
    LITIGATED DIVORCE
    COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE: Divorce negotiation directed by attorneys and assisted by neutral experts, with an (enforceable) agreement not to go to court
    MEDIATOR ASSISTED DIVORCE UTILIZING UNBUNDLED LEGAL SERVICES
    THE ORIGINAL COST-CUTTER: Just one lawyer
    PURELY DO-IT-YOURSELF, WITHOUT ASSISTANCE
    ©2010 by Just Mediation, LLC, for more information: www.xanskinner.com 803-414-0185
  • 36. Collaborative or Mediated Divorce:How Do I Talk To My Spouse About It?
    Getting all parties to the negotiating table is the first, and sometimes the most challenging, task for the mediator or negotiator
    The same approaches to solving problems will not work. You know this, because you’ve already tried the tools in your own tool kit. If you got along, you wouldn’t need a mediator or negotiator.
    If you propose a collaborative divorce or mediated divorce, the mediator or attorney will be happy to contact your spouse and send information
    ©2010 by Just Mediation, LLC, for more information: www.xanskinner.com 803-414-0185
  • 37. Conclusion
    Divorce is very serious, with long term consequences for you and every member of your family
    The same solution does not fit everyone
    Choose carefully depending on your circumstances, paying special heed to your need for directive advice and your need for help balancing power
    In collaborative or mediated cases, your attorney or mediator can help with convening
    For more information about mediation or conflict transformation in general, please see www .xanskinner.com
    Thank you for your time!
    WHAT ARE MY DIVORCE OPTIONS?
    IN CONCLUSION:
    A presentation by
    Just Mediation, LLC
    “Helping People Tackle Problems
    Instead of Each Other”
    ©2010 by Just Mediation, LLC, for more information: www.xanskinner.com 803-414-0185