Some couples think that mediation is a one-sided solution in which one party or the other will end up with all the assets. Individuals frequently feel inadequate as a bargainer and financially ignorant. They are afraid to take a chance. The truth is, mediation can help even the financially naive client to structure a fair and equitable distribution of all assets, a division that is designed by you and your spouse to suit your individual present and future needs and concerns.
Areas to be addressed include, but are not limited to:
At the Centre for Mediation & Dispute Resolution, a skilled mediator, who has the experience and knowledge to untangle complex financial arrangements, will work with you to think of different options for determining an equitable settlement of your assets and liabilities.
“We went before the judge yesterday who said she sees hundreds of agreements and ours was the clearest, most comprehensive, extraordinarily fair, logically presented contract she has read.”
To accomplish this task, you need to understand the assets you are dividing, as well as how they may change over time. Are there tax implications that affect the net value of the assets you will retain? Is there risk involved in selecting one asset over another? What will each spouse’s estate look like in one year? In ten years? In 20 years? Obviously, there may not be definitive answers to each of the many queries raised and contemplated. Still, the questions need to be asked and the answers considered based on realistic projections.
Some couples use financial analysts to help generate economic projections. Others decide to retain some assets for future division. And others have a kind of hybrid agreement, combining support and property consideration in their search for a settlement that works for their family. There is no perfect settlement, no one way to divide assets. Settlements should be tailored to meet the unique needs of each family. The division of assets and liabilities needs to be fair and workable. Mediation offers a forum in which fairness is valued over secrecy and one-upsmanship. It provides a forum for emerging “whole.”