Elaine King, a family mediator and postgraduate in Family Therapy studies, was recently interviewed for an article in The Wall Street Journal. The article offers advice on how to successfully navigate a mediation. Mediation is used for a variety of negotiations and is most encouraged for divorce proceedings. Mediation is utilized so often because it has been a proven amicable strategy for resolving issues and avoiding expensive court fees.
On average couples can spend over $30,000 in court fees while trying to settle a divorce. Going to court often means dragging kids and other family members into an arduous process. Mediation helps keep family ties strong and the family’s wealth more intact.
Idealy, each couple would already have a financial contingency plan in the event of a breakup or divorce. “Having a firm grasp of the family’s finances and its sources can help you understand by law what each spouse is entitled to, save you time and better prepare you for a future settlement negotiation,” says King.
King, also a renowned financial planner, suggests hiring a forensic accountant to help determine the settlement for couples that do not have a plan. These investigative auditors can determine the best possible settlement and, if needed, prepare documents suitable for court.
King adds that having additional wealth and asset information from a forensic accountant can also create leverage for one partner during the mediation. Using these pressure points gives provides an advantage in negotiating a settlement. In the event that the case leads to court, King asserts that mediations are still advantageous. They allow you to become familiar with the opposition and provide you with time to prolong the debate or prepare for further proceedings.
Check out the full article here.