In an ideal divorce, the couple files uncontested and amicably files paperwork. They then move on with their lives and might even remain civil with each other. In fact, these divorces are becoming more common now that divorce no longer carries the stigma it once did.
When couples decide to file contested and argue it out in court, they stand to lose a lot of money in the process on legal fees. When there are kids involved, that means fewer assets for children to inherit and a greater risk that the non-custodial parent might not pay in full and on time, every time.
How couples seek a calmer divorce
CNBC reports that baby boomers spearheaded a move toward collaborative divorce. It allows parents to protect the mental health of their children and reduces the risk of courtroom angst. Sometimes, this can require a team of four people.
The more complex the case, the larger the team. Complexities might come from multiple streams of income, financial entanglements or fights over who should get what. In these cases, each party might retain an attorney. Then, they might also hire a financial professional and a mental health coach.
What to discuss in mediation
Whether couples use one mediator or a large team of professionals, the same topics tend to come up. Here are some of the most important ones to cover:
- How much time the children spend with each parent and when
- How much to pay for child support and/or alimony
- How to divide up provisions in place for retirement accounts
- How to distribute marital assets
- How to avoid losing portions of the assets to taxes while dividing them up
Forbes points out that a collaborative divorce process might make it easier to stabilize situations by creating temporary agreements that remain in place until the finalization of the divorce. The parties also tend to reach agreements more quickly. A faster process tends to become a less expensive one.