Wisconsin Divorce Mediation
Stop the arguments, lower your costs and avoid the emotional drain of court
By hiring a divorce mediator, you and your soon to be ex are given the chance to decide the terms of your own divorce. You, and not a judge, will be able to decide what’s best for your children, assets and debts, property, retirement, insurance, and taxes. During mediation, a neutral third party helps facilitate you and your spouse through the issues, making you aware of the law along the way, so you can find common ground on the agreements to end your marriage.
Unlike litigation, divorce mediation assists spouses toward compromises. Mediation is not a litigious process, meaning that it’s not antagonistic. Mediation grants flexibility in the timetables, helping to avoid the overworked family court system. This means fewer hoops to jump through and a more thorough discussion about the issues.
This is right for you if…
What’s included when you hire Sterling Law Offices
- Clarity. You will get clarity on what to do file, where and when.
- Direction. You will get clear direction from the mediator and scenarios the court will accept in a marital settlement agreement.
- Support. Divorce is hard and dealing with the emotions of the divorce is not always easy. We will be able to support you by taking the craziness out of the process avoiding court until an agreement is found.
- Privacy. You will get the privacy of resolving issues outside of court.
- Everything Else.
- Prepare your petition for divorce (court filing fee not included)
- Complete all necessary forms with your help
- Draft settlement agreements
- Complete your final divorce decree
What are the benefits of divorce mediation?
- Most affordable route to divorce as both parties pay one mediator
- Happens outside of court
- Voluntary exchange of information
- Clear directions on what to do, where to go and when
- Decide ahead of time how to handle post-settlement disputes
How Mediation Works
Rules on Legal Advice & Legal Counsel
During your first mediation session, the mediator will lay out the rules and explain they are not acting as an attorney. They will not give legal advice in order to aid either party. The couple will be advised that they should seek legal counsel any time they have specific questions about their rights. The mediator will aid in explaining the laws so the parties can make informed legal decisions. The mediator will also draft legal documents for the parties to file with the court.
There are a few explicit rules that must be followed during mediation:
1.1 The Mediator is not acting as an attorney and will not, under any circumstances, give legal advice to either party. Both parties are advised to seek their own legal counsel at any time during the mediation proceedings.
1.2 The mediator may give legal information to both parties as may be necessary for the parties to make informed decisions, but will not advocate on either party’s behalf.
1.3 Both parties are encouraged to seek the advice of independent and separate legal counsel at any time during the mediation process with regard to their individual legal rights and responsibilities. If a party consults with or retains counsel during the mediation process, this fact shall be disclosed to the other party and to the mediator.
1.4 Each of the parties is encouraged to seek the advice of independent and separate legal counsel prior to signing any written agreement.
1.5 The parties agree that no legal action of any kind will be taken by either of them during the course of mediation, except with the express agreement of the other party. Further, if either or both parties have retained counsel prior to mediation, they shall be obligated to direct their attorney in writing that no adversarial action is to be taken on their case while the matter is in mediation.
Access to Professional Legal Forms & Tools
During your mediation sessions, the appropriate forms and tools will be available for your use, with the mediator there to guide you on their use and where to file any forms. The mediator will also aid in helping you navigate the calculator tools used for dividing property, assets, and debts. Without the proper tools figuring out an equitable distribution between the parties can be difficult.
Here are a few of the services and tools a mediator will be able to provide:
2.1 Court Approved Legal Documents – Your mediator will draft for you the summons and petition for divorce as well as the marital settlement agreement with you. This will ensure when you go to court you will not experience bumps in the process due to incorrect forms.
2.2 Court Approved Child Support & Maintenance Calculators – Not only will you get your forms drafted by a professional you will get access to the professional tools used by lawyers during negotiation. This will aid in the calculation of child support and maintenance while considering the tax implications of the scenarios.
2.3 Property, Asset & Debt Division Calculators – Along with the tools related to child support and maintenance, the mediator will also provide tools for dividing assets and debt. This will aid in the process and help expedite it. Avoid the complicated and limited forms the court provides and use the tools and documents the professionals use.
Working through the Issues
Each mediation takes on a life of its own. Some mediation sessions will go quickly and feel very productive. However, in almost every mediation spouses tend to disagree fervently on one or two issues. By helping you understand the law, the mediator will greatly assist you and your spouse work through lingering issues. What it means more specifically is that you’ll have clear guidance in crafting an agreement. A skilled mediator will help you stay on track and avoid jumping from issue to issue. This facilitation typically results in less time invested, less emotional pain and reduced costs through the process. Even the toughest mediation sessions result in a more amicable outcome than fighting through a litigated process.
The mediator will help you through every aspect of the divorce agreement, including:
3.1 Property, Asset & Debt Division – Walk through how to divide the marital estate and understand how to calculate the value of assets and debts for an equitable division.
3.2 Child Custody & Parenting Time – Discuss how the children will be raised and define how major decisions will be decided for the minor. Also, define how you will allocate parenting time for each parent to the benefit of the child. Finally, discuss how holiday and birthdays will be celebrated.
3.3 Child Support & Maintenance – Determine how much child support will be provided and how extra child care expenses will be paid. Find agreement on maintenance payments as well as the maintenance schedule.
3.4 Retirement – Discuss how retirement accounts and pension should be divided and or allocated at the time of disbursement. Leverage tools to determine an equitable division of retirement accounts.
3.5 Taxes & Insurance – Understand and agree on how taxes should be paid. Decide how certain tax deductions will be allocated when children are involved.
Custody & Placement
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