If you’re heading into mediation with your ex soon you might be making a list of things to discuss in divorce mediation.
Here’s a list of 8 key things you can discuss in your divorce mediation session.
8 Key Things To Discuss In Divorce Mediation
Division Of Property & Debts
Who gets what is often one of the most hotly contested issues in divorce. Often the bigger the asset pool, the greater the conflict. Although the division of property is not a straightforward process where everything gets split equally and straight down the middle, the family law in Australia requires it to be fair and equitable for both parties.
In legal terms, property is defined as all assets and liabilities of both spouses, no matter in whose names they are registered. Property is very widely defined in the Family Law Act and includes any real estate (including the family home), business interests, vehicles, cash, bank accounts, investments, household furniture, and personal items and superannuation – everything. Liabilities include mortgages, personal debt, tax liabilities, credit card debts and any other personal debts and loans.
Splitting superannuation can be a complex issue, usually requiring specialised assistance to calculate as there are many factors that have to be considered. It is important to note that any superannuation that may be “split off” to the other party will still be subject to the rules relating to access to superannuation.
Future Living & Child Care Arrangements
Apart from the financial implications, reaching agreement on the future living and child care matters, can be most emotionally draining for both parents too. Issues for discussion can include who stays and who leaves the family home, where and with whom the children will live, as well as schooling, and holiday arrangements.
To avoid potential disagreements in the future it’s a good idea to discuss what happens on special occasions such as family or religious events, birthdays, Christmas, etc.
Should there be health care issues they, too, can form part of the divorce mediation discussions.
Spousal Maintenance & Expenses
Should one spouse be unable to financially support themselves during and after the divorce, the other spouse may have a legal obligation to assist their ex to achieve a reasonable standard of living.
There are numerous factors that need to be considered here. It’s important for both spouses to provide full details of all incomes and expenses. In broad terms, spousal maintenance is based on the reasonable needs of the applicant as well as the payer’s ability to pay.
Points of discussion could include the amount and period for the payments. Payments could be made as a once-of lump sum, monthly, weekly, or even through the transfer of a home or vehicle. Periods may be ongoing or have a specified ending date. Spousal maintenance might be reviewed and adjusted in future as living circumstances and needs may change.
Child Support & Expenses
Where children are involved, child support and expenses may be a part of the divorce mediation discussions.
However, these issues can not be the subject of Consent Orders and may have to be dealt with through the Services Australia for child support or by way of a Binding Child Support Agreement (for which both parties will require independent and certified legal advice)..
An easily forgotten yet important issue is who will be responsible for personal and health insurance for both parents and children.
Let’s face it, in many divorces there can be a level of animosity between spouses, often making it difficult to communicate with each other or with their children, particularly during the early stages of separation.
If communication with your ex is of concern, it needs to be discussed during the mediation process and dealt with before it becomes a major problem.
Today’s technology offers divorcing parents a wide range of communication options, such as email, voicemail or text messaging, which are all non-contact and non-confrontational.
As each family and divorce comes with its own unique set of circumstances the “Anything Else” list could be virtually endless.
Issues that could be discussed and addressed during mediation include, the times children may spend with their non-custodial parent, either parent relocating to another city or state, or both parents having the flexibility of changing certain terms of their agreement if or when circumstances change.
If you’re ready to start discussions at divorce mediation, it’s time to call Move On.
We help you move on quickly, affordably and amicably from your divorce.