Consider: your divorce is now inevitable. You are overwhelmed at the prospect of going through litigation. You have consulted with “the very best.” The “very best” told you that their full arsenal is available to you: associates who work nights and weekends, forensic experts including psychologists, accountants, and investigators—all committed to do their best at any cost! Yes, it comes with an enormous price tag, not only financially, but emotionally. In some instances, there is little choice because you are confronting an “insane” (belligerent? Intractable?) spouse on the other side. Thankfully, this is the exception and NOT the rule.
Let us take a look through the lens of practicality. This includes your sanity not to mention preserving hard- earned assets to support yourself and invest in your future and/or the future of your children. What are your options?
Most cases can be mediated. The hallmark of mediation is self-determination. If you can enter the process committed to fairness for both of you despite the anger, hurt, betrayal, frustrations, and inevitable disappointments, an agreement can be secured. The selection of the right mediator is critical. Ask someone who has been successfully through the process for a recommendation. Ask your lawyer. Make sure they are credentialed. Make sure you are comfortable working with them and that they exhibit fairness to both of you.
Program yourself to succeed. Separate legal representation is strongly advised. Learn about your rights! Know the parameters of what is fair. Understand that the days of presumptions in favor of sole parenting are gone, absent extraordinary circumstances. Realize that the court, your attorney and/or the mediator cannot secure more for you than exists in your specific case. By eliminating game-playing and with prompt production of discovery, realistic budgets, and parental focus on the best interests of the children, this chapter of your life can be brought to a fair resolution that provides a workable roadmap for the future. If you are open to mediation, the process offers hope for your future and that of your family.
Candace R. Scott, LLC
Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney
Member of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
Collaborative Law, Mediation, and Arbitration Services