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#772450 - 09/01/16 04:14 AM Mediation when people are worlds apart
ilovelife Offline

recently joined

Registered: 10/06/15
Posts: 2
My husband of 19 years wants out. He has decided to be completely irresponsible (his words) and do nothing but play and sleep around. I've accepted that and I'm over him. He's 59 and I figured this would happen. But after demanding that we get going on the paperwork, he has left it all to me to figure out what funds/assets he has (I had no idea) and where they are and he's off on a 6 week vacation. He says he has no idea what he has for retirement funds, forgot his passwords, is completely checked out. Amazingly, I figured it out.

I am thinking mediation since he thinks he can give me a bit of spousal support and be done with it. I know we live in a community property state and he wanted me to stay home (I gave up a great career for him) and now that I am in my 60's I will make out quite well if we go by the standard of the law in this state.

Anyways, I think I should herd him into mediation without telling him what I am asking for (much less than I'm entitled to by law but much more than a small spousal support. He will go wild as he thinks everything is his and since I have an IRA from my past job I do not need anything of HIS.

How will they mediate this situation? Will we go to a mediator and I tell everyone then what I want? How will the mediator deal with that? If someone wants to give almost nothing and the other party wants some of what they are entitled to by law, how is that mediated? How do they convince him? Or do they try to mediate me lower than my already low request? I'm probably asking about 30% of what I am legally entitled to under community property. Thanks for any help!!

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#772451 - 09/01/16 04:42 AM Re: Mediation when people are worlds apart [Re: ilovelife]
TJMH Online   content

enthusiast

Registered: 07/17/15
Posts: 339
Usually the first session with a mediator is at no charge and is kind of an evaluation on the mediator's part to see whether mediation is likely to be successful for you. For example, if the two of you can't sit in the same room together and have a civil conversation, they'll probably tell you they can't help you.

Otherwise they'll probably lay out their process. It will probably involve each of you laying out what you want, so you should be prepared to articulate that (probably not in the intake session but in a subsequent session once you've got them on retainer). But it's not necessary, I don't think, to have any specific discussions with your husband about what you're seeking before you lay it out for the mediator.

If you live in a community property state, you're each entitle to half of the marital estate. If you each have IRAs or other retirement accounts, unless they're equal one of you will probably have to transfer some funds to the other. If either of you has a pension, either drawing currently or in the future, that will also be divided according to how much of the pension was earned during the marriage.

If the mediator is good and experienced, they should be able to give each of you an unbiased view of what's fair and what's within the law in your state, and help you come to a mutual agreement.

Even if you're already mostly agreed on the division of property, etc., you'll probably still need some help getting everything written up in the proper form and filed with the court. Usually a mediator can help you with that as well--if the mediator is not an attorney they'll usually have a paralegal on staff who can do the legal paperwork.

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#772452 - 09/01/16 10:32 PM Re: Mediation when people are worlds apart [Re: TJMH]
ilovelife Offline

recently joined

Registered: 10/06/15
Posts: 2
Thank you so much! That gives me an idea of what to expect. At this time the soon to be ex and I are getting along fine, but I expect that to change when he ses I am not going to take almost nothing. The first mediation session may well go fine because he will still think he gets everything.

In a community property state like mine, it sounds like mediation would cause the person who did not work to get a lot less than half. For example, I ask for half and he asks to keep it all. To mediate he has to go up and I have to go down, which means lower than what the community property would be. So I am thinking I should start high since I will need to go lower to come to agreement.

Or does the mediator hold to a 50/50 split?

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#772453 - 09/02/16 02:57 AM Re: Mediation when people are worlds apart [Re: ilovelife]
MinnesotaMom Online   content

old hand

Registered: 01/05/11
Posts: 770
A mediator has no legal authority to decide anything. They simply try to direct the 2 of you to agree on things, and if you do, then it can be written, signed and rubber stamped by judge. Otherwise, it goes to court where a judge does have the authority to make decisions.

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#772454 - 09/02/16 02:48 PM Re: Mediation when people are worlds apart [Re: MinnesotaMom]
TJMH Online   content

enthusiast

Registered: 07/17/15
Posts: 339
The two of you, with (or without) a mediator's assistance, can agree to pretty much anything you want. So for example you might agree that you get more property in return for less spousal support, or vice versa.

If it came to court, if it's a community property state the marital property would be split 50/50. If you ask the court to determine spousal support, the judge will usually be required to consider a number of factors, primarily including the disparity in your incomes and the ability and opportunity of the supported spouse to support themselves.

The mediator may be able to use their experience to give the two of you a good idea what a court would typically order and that should help you come to a fair agreement, but as MM said the mediator can't mandate anything--only the court can do that.

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#772866 - 12/25/16 07:18 AM Re: Mediation when people are worlds apart [Re: ilovelife]
knoxfamilylaw Offline
newbie

Registered: 12/07/16
Posts: 25
Loc: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
The mediator is just going to help you reach terms you can both agree to, something that you can do yourself as well. But it would make the process smoother.
_________________________
Accredited Family Law Specialists - http://www.knoxfamilylaw.com.au

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