My husband and I have been separated for 3 months now, we only share our 3 year old daughter together whom I've been primary caretaker of and he visits once in awhile. We've been married 4 years and we've grown apart and now I want a divorce. I do need child support from him but We both cannot afford attorneys or a dragged out process so I'm leaning more towards mediation . What are we better off doing ?
Mediation can be successful if both of you communicate well and can agree on the outstanding issues of custody, support and equitable distribution of any marital assets you have. Then, if mediation does not work out, you can retain an attorney for litigation purposes.
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If you don't have the finances for an attorney and you both agree to negotiate then a mediator is the way to go. As far as child support if both of you combined make under $136,000.00 per year then he would have to pay aprox 17% of his income to you in child support if you were the custodial parent. This is the law and not something he can get around so he might as well agree at mediation and not bother paying an attorney to get the same result. Best of luck.
Mediation is an alternative especially where you are both W-2 employees and custody is not an issue. When mediation works as it frequently does, then it can be a workable alternative. As is the case with any representation, make sure you know the fee arrangement and that it is put in writing. You will each need to have the agreement reviewed by a lawyer; this will avoid future challenges to the Agreement. should divorce be your choice, then you will have to commence an action prior to executing a stipulation of settlement. Check out the mediator and the attorneys that you choose to review the document. A skilled practitioner is a must.
The purpose of mediation is to try to get two sides to agree. But remember, before you can agree you need to know what your rights are, what you might be entitled to, so you can agree to waive something with knowledge. Agreeing without knowledge is a bad idea. A Mediator can not advise you. He/she does not represent your interests. They may not even be a lawyer (many mediators are not). A lawyer still has to draft the divorce documents. An uncontested divorce by a lawyer is not tremendously expensive. You should at least talk to a lawyer.
The above is a general answer and is not considered legal advice. You should contact an attorney before proceeding to take any legal action, signing any papers or upon service of a summons.
This is a great question, and one many divorcing couples have. Mediation is often a cost effective way to obtain a divorce and, typically, is faster than a litigated divorce. One of the many goals of mediation is to assist the couple in developing new communication and problem solving skills. So, even if you and your spouse do not communicate well, or are in conflict over the terms of your separation, a trained mediator can still assist you in mediating your divorce. Best of luck.
I practiced family law for many years and based on that experience, I would strongly encourage you to mediate with an open mind, and a willingness to compromise, and make every effort to get things worked out by agreement rather than having a judge in court resolve your divorce issues. It will save you a lot of money and a lot of "emotional expense" too. Your child will be better off if her mom and dad can be civil to each other and agree to work out these divorce issues in a mediation.
This answer is intended as general information and not as specific legal advice. If you want to have a free consultation with me, please contact me through AVVO.
In my practice I litigate, mediate and use collaborative divorce, and I can tell you that if there is any chance for mediation to be successful it should be tried as the first option in the process. As long as the 2 of you are able to sit in the same room and have a conversation, a good mediator would be able to facilitate a productive discussion on all issues that need to be resolved: those on decisionmaking and parenting time with your daughter, child support, and all other issues that need to be addressed/resolved in order to create a fully binding settlement agreement. Usually, mediators work with a checklist of issues that they provide for your review. There are usually sessions scheduled, the number of which depends on how many issues are in dispute. The more you can resolve with each other outside the sessions, the less will be the number of mediation sessions necessary. Once you have reached an agreement on all relevant items on the "checklist", the mediatior (if an attorney) can draft the settlement agreement for you. Then you can choose to have it reviewed by lawyers and get it signed. After the agreement is fully executed then you can file for uncontested divorce and attach the agreement to the divorce documents. Mediation saves families a lot of financial costs and also lowers the tension and hostility that is likely to escalate during an adversarial divorce process. If it doesn't work, you can always hire attorneys and proceed with the traditional negotiation or litigation, but it is definitely worth trying. Here is a link to a chart on the divorce process option: http://www.goodlawfirm.com/attorney/our-law-firm/divorce-process-comparison-chart/.
Mediation is a great alternative but you would need to have an attorney to advise you of the extent of your rights and obligations. I prefer lawyer attended mediations.
I have found that generally, mediation is less expensive that litigation. It is prudent, however, to have an attorney review any mediated agreement before you sign it.
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