Frequently Asked Questions

Is mediation right for everyone?

Mediation can be a great alternative in most divorce situations as long as both parties are willing to sit down and discuss the issues to be resolved. Mediation is not appropriate when there is domestic abuse, as it is a complicated issue with a significant imbalance of power.

Is mediation confidential?

Yes, confidentiality is one of the key benefits of mediation. The discussions that take place during our mediation sessions cannot be disclosed in court.

How long does mediation take?

Each case is different, both in complexity and communication, which directly impacts the number of sessions required. I conduct two-hour mediation sessions and clients typically need three to six meetings.

Can you help with custody and visitation arrangements?

Yes, resolving custody, visitation and child support arrangements are all part of divorce mediation. Clients typically spend one to two meetings, 2-hours each, focused solely on creating the parenting plan for their child/ren.

What if I want to understand my financial situation in divorce but am not ready to involve my spouse?

Whether you are just exploring the possibility of divorce individually, or you or your spouse have already started the process by retaining an attorney, my settlement analysis services will provide you with options for moving forward as well as possible financial division settlements for your consideration.

I’ll make sure you understand both the short-term and long-term financial impact of different settlement proposals so you can develop a realistic picture of your new lifestyle before making any final decisions.

The attorney fees are expensive enough, so do I really need a separate financial analyst?

Expenses related to divorce can seem high, but the reality is that including a divorce financial analyst is more likely to save you money, both now and in the long-term. The decisions you make now cannot be undone, so it is important to understand your options and have the guidance needed to make good choices. Fees for mediation and financial analysis are very reasonable as compared to attorney representation, and I offer both hourly and flat-fee services. Previous clients have commented that it’s been a great investment, saving them not only money, but time and frustration down the road.

If our situation is pretty simple and we agree on how to handle the finances child care, do we really need to hire a professional?

In my experience, clients who believe they have a relatively simple divorce still benefit significantly from my services. Even when mediation is not necessary, a brief one- or two-hour review of the divorce settlement you are considering may uncover a potential mistake or an opportunity for a better strategy. Please contact me for a free consultation so we can discuss your situation.

If I use your mediation services, will I still need to retain an attorney?

A mediator’s role is to remain neutral and help you reach your own agreements. However, mediators cannot provide legal advice so you are encouraged to have your agreement reviewed by your own independent counsel prior to signing.

What if my spouse handled all of the finances?

There is a natural division of labor that occurs with most couples, and handling the household finances is often one of those tasks. If you are working with Financial Harmony independently from your spouse, we’ll discuss the financial information you need to gather and talk about ways to obtain it.

For those mediating, the sharing of information is key and there will be a financial due diligence process. Financial issues will be explained to be sure both parties fully understand them before making any decisions.

I think we need a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), is that something you provide?

If you intend to divide a qualified retirement plan, you may be aware that a QDRO will be required. Our mediation team includes attorneys who can prepare these documents for you.

What if we have complex assets, such as businesses or deferred compensation plans?

Handling the division of business assets, deferred compensation plans and other complex assets is what I do for my clients on a daily basis. We’ll discuss the various options you have for dividing each asset and determine what makes the most sense for your particular situation.

Do you assist with post-divorce modifications?

Yes, whether you are already in agreement about post-divorce modifications or need to mediate in order to reach your new agreements, Financial Harmony can provide this service.

Do you handle same-sex marriage dissolution?

Yes, I provide all of the same services for those seeking to end same-sex marriages.

Can we still use your services if we signed a prenuptial agreement?

Yes, parties who have signed a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may use mediation and/or divorce financial planning services. Even when both parties agree to the pre-or postnuptial agreement terms, there are still child-related and administrative details to be worked out.

Do you offer a free consultation?

I always offer new clients a half-hour consultation at no charge. Please call or email me today so we can schedule a time to discuss your options.

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