Neutral Professionals and Your Divorce

Going through divorce impacts almost every aspect of your life from your finances to your home, emotional health, and family.  When you have devoted your emotional energy, time, and resources to building a life with your partner, separating your worlds can be complicated.  Having experts involved during the process can help you identify issues and determine how to resolve them equitably.

When are Neutral Professionals Used?

Typically, neutral professionals can assist during divorce when the court orders their participation or the parties agree.  If the court appoints someone it is usually to clarify an issue.  For example, parents fighting over custody may be asked to submit to psychological evaluations which will be provided to the court to help it make decisions which are in the child’s best interest.   In a routine divorce, the couple may agree to accept a property valuation conducted by a third party appraiser and use their assessment for purposes of negotiation.

Neutral Professionals During Collaborative Divorce

One of the most valuable ways in which a neutral professional can help during divorce is through the Collaborative Divorce process.  This non-adversarial approach involves both parties agreeing to stay out of court, be cooperative, and to use a team approach with different professionals to help them understand their issues and find amicable ways to resolve them.  The couple may have an accountant who helps them value their assets or mental health specialists who can support them during the process.  There can also be appraisers for property issues and child advocates to assist with custody and placement decisions.  There is immense value in having a group of trusted professionals involved in your case as they can help shed light on issues and provide valuable insights for the parties.  Their expertise is a critical part of ensuring that each side’s needs are fully understood and met by the process.

Having the assistance of qualified professionals during your divorce can be helpful, but for the process to be effective, it is essential to have the right people involved.  If you are considering or are in a divorce, we can help you understand how a neutral professional may become part of your case.  Please contact us to schedule a consultation and a “first look” at your options.

Is Divorce Mediation Right for You?

In Wisconsin, one way to resolve your divorce case is through mediation.  During mediation, each side and their attorney will meet with a trained mediator who will work with them to reach an agreement.  Although the parties will still be in an adversarial posture while working through the issues, the introduction of a mediator may help them find common ground.

Mediation Can Help with Perspective

Divorce mediation allows each side to collect and prepare their information for the mediator and discuss their respective positions with them.  When the parties have a great deal of conflict, meeting with a neutral party and being able to set out their positions can help them step back from the situation, see it from another perspective, and try to work towards a resolution.

Mediation can Stop Litigation and Save Money

Divorce can be an expensive and emotionally draining process especially when the parties have to go to court frequently.  Deciding to mediate your case allows you and your former partner to stop fighting and focus on ending your disputes.  Further, this process can be a good alternative for those who want to settle their divorce without the burden of going through expensive litigation. Once you have reached agreements on your issues, they can resolve your case quickly and get on with your life.

Mediation Allows for Creative Solutions

Divorce courts are typically not going to adapt their rulings to the specific preferences of the parties.  When you put decisions about your divorce in the court’s hands, you have no control over the results.  Mediation, on the other hand, provides the parties with the freedom to reach agreements which suit their circumstances. For instance, you and your ex may want to share your child’s placement according to your work travel schedule.  This kind of specificity may not be allowed or included in court-created placement order.   However, you could resolve to add this arrangement to your parenting plan during mediation.

Attorney Karyn Youso is an experienced family law attorney and mediator with the experience you need to help you benefit from your divorce mediation. Call us today to set up a consultation so we can talk about your family’s needs and have your “first look” at the situation.


Family Law Mediation

Divorce and child custody matters are often some of the most stressful processes that people have to go through.  The stress stems mainly from the fact that there is a major change in your family dynamic, living situation, and financial resources.  Moreover, divorce litigation means you are handing over your important life decisions, such as custody and property division, to a judge, which means you retain little control over the process.  Family law mediation is an excellent way to help you take back control over your family law case.

Mediation is a non-binding process, during which you and your spouse or partner sit down with a neutral third-party mediator.  The mediator is not a judge and will not make decisions for you.  Instead, the mediator’s job is to help facilitate an agreement, and help resolve any issues you may have.  The mediator will talk to you and the other party about possible resolutions to issues such as property division, spousal maintenance, child support, or visitation schedules.  The mediator has special training to help provide a peaceful and respectful atmosphere designed to help you and your spouse come together and find common ground.  You will not be forced to reach an agreement, and neither will your spouse.  It is possible to come to an agreement on some, all, or none of the issues in your family law case.

Mediation has significant advantages over a contested trial.  First, and most importantly, settling your case at mediation can allow you and your spouse to create tailor-made solutions for your issues.  These may be solutions that a judge would be reluctant to impose without an agreement, such as “bird’s nest custody” agreements.  Another very important advantage to mediation is that it can save you significant time and expense.  If you are able to settle your case in mediation, your signed settlement agreement can be entered quickly and you can avoid accruing significant attorney’s fees as you will not have to pay your attorney to prepare for and try your case.

Although mediation can be a good choice for many cases, it is not suitable in every case.  Where there is a history of domestic violence, for example, mediation is not appropriate.  Similarly, where there is a vast imbalance of power between the parties by virtue of a significant disparity of financial resources or mental capacity, mediation may not be proper.

Attorney Karyn Youso has extensive experience in assisting clients with mediation, both as their attorney and as their mediator.  Contact us today to talk about your options and mediation.