One of the main objectives of mediation is the identification and delineation of assets and liabilities. The process empowers the individuals and, through their discussions and assistance of the mediator, the parties are able to develop a separation agreement that works for both of them. That document, which will eventually become their divorce decree, is a landscape of where they were, where they are and where they will be. Often, however, it does not deal with some other importance consequences that the former couple will eventually need to address.
What follows are some of the new realities that the divorced individuals need to address:
Financial Concerns: You were probably comfortable in a lifestyle based on two incomes. Now, you have to survive on one. How do you budget your financial resources as you are now solely responsible for rent or mortgage payments, utilities, food, insurance and entertainment? If you are receiving maintenance payments, are they enough, or have these payments forced your former spouse undue hardships?
Being Alone: How do you deal with the loneliness of coming home to an empty house or apartment? How does it feel to have dinner without someone to share the events of the day?
Children: How do you survive as a Mom or Dad when you are with your children on a part-time basis? Will the Parenting Plan you negotiated work? Have you deviated from the child support calculations enough to allow yourself, your former spouse and the children to live a “normal” life?
Significant Other: How do you introduce a “significant other” to your children and will a new person be a problem for your former wife or husband? Do you wait for an agreed period of time to pass before you bring someone else into the lives of your children?
Family/Friends: How do you deal socially with family and friends? Are your in-laws willing to still accept you? Are your friends still friends and still supportive now that you are divorced?
These are some of the issues you need to anticipate as you think about your separation or divorce. As a mediator, I have been involved with couples that have dealt with these issues and I can help you find answers that will work for you.