San Diego Divorce Mediation Checklist – Divorce Mediators in San Diego
We are a firm of neutral divorce mediators in San Diego who choose to work collaboratively with individuals and families to reach complete agreements outside of court. Divorce without court in San Diego is more than possible, it happens daily. As divorce mediators in San Diego, we work with divorcing couples to resolve issues including division of community property, child support, spousal support and child custody and parenting agreements.
We understand that this list can be daunting and that it may be nerve-wracking to walk into a mediator’s office to start your divorce mediation and not know what’s going to happen. The first thing we like to remind our clients that nothing happens in mediation without both parties agreeing to it. And you can have legal and financial experts either inside the mediation or outside giving you advice In your case, and so you are not without expert assistance. Your mediator will likely provide you with some kind of overview of what to expect in your case – sometimes that’s a broad overview of the divorce case and other times it’s a very specific agenda of what will be discussed in the first mediation. The following is a basic client checklist that may help get you thinking about the issues that will come up during divorce and need to be discussed with your spouse as you work together to reach agreements on all of the issues related to your divorce.
- Court Case: File/serve Petition and start 6 month waiting period; discuss what it means to have a pending divorce or legal separation case. You’ll want to think about the date of separation and whether you’re asking for spousal support.
- Create plan for living arrangements with transition plan if needed.
- Custody/Parenting: Issues include physical custody; legal custody; a weekly schedule for visitation and where the kids will sleep; holidays and special days (will you do holidays jointly, do you want to trade major holidays back and forth – for example Thanksgiving in odd years will be Wife, even years with Husband); co-parenting issues such as communication, childcare issues, new partners, travel/moving, etc.
- Child Support (total monthly income is needed for both parties inclusive of any bonus/commissions) and additional expenses for children outside of base child support (health insurance, medical expenses, travel expenses, extra-curricular activities, life insurance, college expenses, etc.).
- Spousal Support (temporary support; long-term support; tax issues) – how long will support last? how much will support be per month to enable both parties to live comfortably?
- Spousal health insurance – if you previously had insurance through your spouse, will you use COBRA for 36 months or go and get your own policy.
- Assets and debts: Identify (via formal financial disclosure requirements to be discussed) and divide/allocate between spouses. How will you handle the house, household items, vehicles, bank accounts, investment and retirement accounts and more. You’ll need to divide these assets and debts but you control the outcome.
- Tax issues regarding settlement, support, future tax filing related to dependents. Will you file jointly this year or as single or head of household?
- How to share/allocate mediation fees, separate attorneys’ fees and fees of other professionals.
- Estate planning issues (existing plans; new plans; issues regarding children).
- Resolution of future disputes including options for co-parenting, mediation, private judge. Do you want to bind yourselves to come back to mediation if issues arise post-divorce?
These are some of the basic issues you’ll discuss and address during your divorce with our mediation team. Schedule a free consultation today to speak with a neutral divorce mediator in San Diego.