What’s Homework Got to do With It?

It’s no surprise that finances can be a key issue in a divorce whether it is a mediated divorce or a contested one.

Sandy Balick Consensus Point MediationA couple may, quite understandably, have misgivings and concerns in approaching this topic. Financial issues may have been one of the hot button topics in their marriage and a factor in the decision to pursue a divorce. Things like credit card spending, debt or disagreements over where to spend – or not having enough to spend – figure prominently in the breakdown of many marriages. The need to take up financial issues in Mediation may seem to offer the prospect of rubbing salt into unhealed wounds. But it is in the area of addressing finances that the structure and process of Mediation may help to detoxify the discussion.

Mediation enables the parties to work out these potentially difficult discussions over as many weekly one hour sessions as necessary to resolve issues. While tensions may surface in the course of these sessions, there’s plenty of time for cooling off and even informal discussion between spouses. There is also time for plain old fact finding; for example, tracking down receipts or invoices to verify certain expenditures. In this manner, the knot of issues is undone – slowly at first and then, more rapidly, as pieces of the overall puzzle fill in.

Effective discussion and resolution of financial issues ultimately depends on two important “homework” assignments made by the Mediator early in the process:

  • Preparation of the couple’s current budget
  • Disclosure of assets, debts and other obligations.

Divorcing spouses shape their own Mediation. The Mediator cannot force preparation of either the budget or asset and debt disclosure but a couple willing to put the necessary effort into these “assignments” will have taken a giant step in establishing a solid footing for the many important decisions made in the course of the Mediation.

These exercises not only make decision making easier, but they are also helpful in building trust which will go far in helping to assure a successful outcome to the Mediation.

In my next post I’ll explain how the Mediator facilitates the budgeting process.

We would be pleased to schedule a consultation with you and your spouse to explore the divorce mediation process and to answer your questions about it. There is no fee or commitment for this consultation. We invite you to call us at (646) 340-3434 to schedule an appointment.

Feel free to ask any questions, to comment, or to request more information in the Comments Box below. Also, please forward this blog to anyone you know who might be interested in its topic.

Sanford (Sandy) Balick, Attorney & Mediator in New York Sandy Balick signature
Sanford E. Balick, Esq.
Founder & Principal Mediator
Consensus Point Mediation, LLC.

Phone: (646) 340-3434
Email: ConsensusPointLLC@gmail.com


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