Peaceful Divorce

Clarity: Not an Optional Ingredient to Mediation

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Clarity in collaborative divorce and mediation, or any type of meeting, is critical.

I had a client whose case began in November, 2014. At the outset, the parties agreed that alimony would be paid for 8 years. The agreement, however, wasn’t reached until June of this year. Guess how each party understood the agreement?

  • The wife believed she would receive alimony for 96 months from the time of the first payment.
  • The husband thought it would be closer to 90 months - July 2015 until December 2022.
  • In reality, payments are required to be made until June of 2023.


You can see why clarity is important!

Another case that demonstrates the need for clarity was not one of my own, but rather one that I read about. It concerned college tuition clauses and divorce settlement agreements. In this case, the article referred to a mediation that ended up in court because the husband/father pledged to pay all of the daughter's college tuition - as long as she was enrolled full-time.

Because the daughter’s course load fluctuated between 10 and 14 hours, and full-time is 12 hours, the father refused to pay the tuition. Had that stipulation been made clearer, the daughter might have made more of an effort to graduate on time.

It goes back to clarity.

Mediators and neutrals must ensure there is clarity right up front and that it continues throughout any and all meetings. The best way to ensure this is to choose a mediator or financial neutral who has seen it all. For more information about how my years of experience can help you, contact me today at 1-888-U2-AGREE.

 

The Inside Scoop on the New Mortgage Rules from an Expert
Robert D. Bordett CFP, CDFA
Collaborative Practice
and Mediation Services
bob@u2agree.com
888 U2AGREE (888.822.4733)

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