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kellywilson

kellywilson   , 20

from New Brighton

What to Ask For in Divorce Mediation

Going through a divorce can be an extremely tough time in your life. Not only do you have to experience the emotional turmoil that comes from the collapse of your marriage, but you also have to deal with the financial fallout that comes with the division and distribution of assets. Choosing divorce mediation instead of traditional courtroom litigation may lessen the stress, but you will find that you still have a lot of questions as the divorce process is taking place. According to Split Simple, a Chicago Divorce Mediation Service, many people don't know exactly what they should be asking for in a divorce settlement when they choose to use divorce mediation. These guidelines will help point you in the right direction so you can confidently state your needs and work alongside your soon-to-be former spouse and the mediator to see them met.

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Custody

If you have children, custody agreements should be first and foremost in everybody's mind. You and your soon-to-be ex must try to work together to devise a custody agreement that is acceptable to all, with the best interest of the children in mind. Try to remain calm and discuss the matter rationally, as this is best practice for not only getting what you want out of the agreement but also keeping the divorce mediation process quick and simple. By comparing schedules, living arrangements, travel obligations, and other factors that may make one parent more suitable than the other for the bulk of the children's custody, you and your former spouse can make the best choice for your kids so their transition can be less stressful.

If you believe you deserve to be the children's primary custodian, don't be afraid to make that fact known, and be prepared to back it up with documentation of reasons why they would be best left primarily in your care. Your divorce mediator can assist with negotiation of terms to come up with a suitable solution for all parties involved.

Financial Considerations

If you have spent much of your marriage as a stay-at-home parent, or if you do work outside the home but make considerably less money than your spouse, you are entitled to ask for spousal support following your divorce. This amount is generally agreed upon by reviewing monthly bills, loan payments, utilities, and any other recurring bills for which you may now be responsible and determining how much money your ex-spouse makes per month.

You also certainly should ask for child support if you are the children's primary caregiver and if they will be spending the bulk of each week with you. Fair child support payments are determined by calculating the children's expenses, including clothing, food, tuition expenses, and medical or dental expenses and taking the income of both parents into consideration to arrive at a monthly dollar amount. Child support should be used only for expenses accrued by the children themselves.

You may also ask that your soon-to-be ex-spouse assume payment on some of the household bills that were paid jointly up until your divorce. This may include utility bills, consumer debt such as credit cards, student loan payments, auto loan payments and mortgage payments. Again, how much both of you make per year should be taken into consideration.

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Choosing divorce mediation doesn't mean you are going to agree on everything; you are still well within your rights to ask for things you or your children need. If you choose a reputable, certified divorce mediator with vast experience, you can still walk away from the negotiation table feeling like you were able to successfully obtain all the things you wanted from the divorce. This can help expedite your divorce proceedings so you can move on with your life more quickly.