In divorce mediation, a neutral mediator guides the divorcing couple through the process to create a divorce agreement that works for their family. For this process to be successful, the clients must actively participate in the discussion, complete assignments and collect all the required financial information. The clients play important roles in educating the mediator about their family dynamics and their financial situation. In many ways, the mediator has to base her guidance on the information that the clients choose to share. In other words, to some extent, she only knows what the clients tell her.
At Westfield Mediation, LLC, to gather the necessary information from our clients, the mediators give assignments and ask relevant questions. But the clients have to choose to reveal important information about their lives for the process to work. For example, if one parent works 100 hours a week, that would be a key fact to know for crafting the parenting plan. Similarly, if either party is in a new relationship, or has mental or physical health issues, these are important considerations for deciding how best to move forward.
On the financial side, the parties have to share information about investments or accounts. Actual financial statements work best in educating the mediator (and sometimes the other spouse as well) about different assets, liabilities and sources of income. And if divorcing spouses share only tax information that is incomplete, the mediator will not be able to calculate child support and alimony that reflects the family’s actual financial situation.
This is not to say that in mediation you need to share everything about your personal lives. We do not need to know about all of the disagreements that led you to seek divorce. Just that now that you are seeking a divorce, the mediator (and sometimes an unknowing spouse) needs to know about those aspects of your lives that are relevant to helping you create an agreement that is both fair and practicable.
For more information about divorce mediation, please contact Randi M. Albert, JD, or Michelle Weinberg, M. Ed., Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, at Westfield Mediation, LLC, at 908.913.0373. View our website at www.westfieldnjmediation.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org