Washington spouses going through a divorce who wish to make the process less adversarial may want to consider a more collaborative option. Divorce mediation can provide a channel for divorcing spouses to preserve greater financial stability with less conflict.
Divorce can obviously be a difficult time, with finances often proving to be an emotionally-charged issue. Tensions can rise as spouses realize that they will have to cut expenses and change lifestyles, which can be difficult for individuals who are accustomed to a certain way of life. A spouse might have to sell the family home and move into a smaller property, feeling like he or she is taking a step back. Another spouse might have to get a new job after spending years raising the children.
The process of mediation requires a couple to work in a collaborative and respectful manner. One way to help accomplish this is to bring in financial advisers during the mediation process. While some couples may argue over who gets the house or the retirement savings, financial advisers can provide more neutral advice about how various options might affect each spouse. The mediation process is when many such decisions are being made, so this is a better time to involve a financial adviser rather than after the divorce is finalized and there is nothing that the spouses can do to change the divorce decree.
If spouses are in the process of getting a divorce, they may decide to enter into divorce mediation. They may choose to handle their financial disputes by talking with a neutral third party. By taking this type of action, they may be able to ensure that each spouse walks away with a fair share of income and assets.
Source: Financial-Post, "Divorce Ahead? Help Clients Get a Fair Deal", Elliot M. Kass, November 21, 2013