Tim and Nancy, ages 35 and 36 respectively, had been married 15 years when Nancy began talking openly about wanting a divorce. When she hired an attorney to file the papers, Tim was devastated and angry. He did not see this coming. Within hours of getting "served" at his office with the initial divorce papers Tim had appointments set with several attorneys known for being expensive and very aggressive. Tim hired one of these to defend him.
In addition to being good and dedicated parents to their 10-year-old twin sons, Tim and Nancy were a financially successful couple. Both parties had made significant contributions to that success. Nancy graduated with high honors with a master's degree in elementary education. She shortly thereafter began a teaching career, piling up 14 years worth of contributions to her retirement plan. Tim owned a small but successful construction company.
On the advice of their attorneys, Tim and Nancy continued to live together in the home with their boys.
Despite repeated efforts and enormous expense, Tim and Nancy were not able to agree on anything after months of fighting. They disagreed about custody of their boys, a fair way to value and divide their assets (home, pension accounts, Tim's business) and other lesser issues.
The emotional stress and strain had wreaked havoc on the household after 13 months of going nowhere. And more than anything, the process had begun to take its toll on their boys. Despite their well-intentioned attorneys, the adversarial process simply was not working for Tim and Nancy and there was seemingly no end in sight. Exasperated, the attorneys asked Tim and Nancy to contact me for mediation.
Tim and Nancy felt that they were able to accomplish more in several weekly mediation sessions than all of the efforts expended over the past 13 months combined. The sessions initially focused on coming up with a parenting plan. I encouraged Tim and Nancy to focus less on “custody” and more on how both parents would be involved in making critical decisions about their sons and how each would continue to play an active role in their lives.
In addition, the parties explored various options about how they could fairly value and divide their assets and liabilities without making it seem like they were ceding power and control to the other. The parties managed to overcome strong negative feelings toward one another which had emerged during the first year of their divorce. They told me at the end of the mediation that their sons' grades in school were improving. The mediation process proved to be a good experience for the entire family.
It’s never too late to try mediation at any stage of the separation or divorce process. We at Innovative Divorce Solutions are ready to assist you.
INNOVATIVE DIVORCE SOLUTIONS
Salt Lake City, Utah 84116
We are divorce mediation experts, serving families throughout Utah. For a free initial consultation, or to answer your questions about mediation or the divorce process in Utah, please call us at (801) 633-1361, or visit www.innovativedivorcesolutions.com