Updated: Nov 7
A divorce mediator will facilitate the communication between a married couple to help them finalize a Separation Agreement. This agreement will set the stage for the next phase of their lives independent of each other. In addition to the foundational nature of the agreement, the couple will submit their Separation Agreement as part of their divorce petition when they file with the court.
Depending on each couple’s specific situation, the Separation Agreement will include a section titled Equitable Distribution. In this section, the mediator will help the couples list ALL of their marital assets and liabilities. The court is interested in reviewing how the couple’s intertwined financial situation is being untangled. Who will have what, and who will be responsible for what, AND when and how will it take place.
The two major categories are Assets and Liabilities; Real Estate, Vehicles, Pensions, Mortgages, Credit Cards, Loans, etc. Figuring out how to distribute these items can be challenging when the couple leads with their emotions. A good divorce mediator will offer the two a safe space to share their feelings without devolving into blame and arguments. Although there is room to revisit some of the past, a mediation session is better suited to help the two with laying the foundation for their individual futures by unknotting their union.
To have a practical Equitable Distribution, each will reflect on how their position will affect the other. The law allows the couple to achieve equity in the most helpful way to their situation. Instead of saying that a divorcing couple should split everything, they should be able to tailor “equitable” distribution to their individual situation.
The mediator will inform the divorcing couple of the laws without pushing for any specific outcome or providing any legal advice per the law. The mediator will help the two understand what the court might be interested in seeing in the Separation Agreement. The mediator should be able to point out possible pitfalls.
Ultimately, a good Separation Agreement should be equitable, fair and balanced. The two should equally be liberated from the shadows of the past and be content with the outcome. Collaborating on the Separation Agreement will leave the two with a sense of peace and respect for each other in honor of the good times they once enjoyed during their marital journey.