By Ullian Associates of The Law Firm of Ullian & Associates, P.C. on April 8, 2020
The Process with John Ullian
Divorce mediation is not a familiar concept to everyone. This is how The Law Firm of Ullian & Associates, P.C. handles our divorce mediations.
During your initial consultation with John Ullian, you will discuss your situation and go over the process of mediation. You and your spouse can meet with John together or separately for this consultation. If you both decide to pursue mediation, then at your first session John will go over the issues that need to be addressed, such as custody, parenting time, child support, alimony, health insurance, and division of assets and liabilities. You and your spouse will both need to complete Financial Statements, which disclose your income, expenses, assets, and liabilities.
You will likely meet weekly or every other week to discuss these matters and try to resolve all issues needed for a Divorce Agreement. After each meeting, John will send you a summary of the meeting to make sure that everyone is clear on what progress was made. The summary will highlight the issues the parties need to think about prior to the next session, and any documents or information the parties still need to gather. Once all the necessary legal issues have been resolved, John will draft a Divorce Agreement. At this point you and your spouse can each have the Divorce Agreement reviewed by your own attorney or accountant if you desire. Once everyone accepts the terms of the Divorce Agreement, you will execute it and bring it to the court to be filed along with other required documents.
After the Joint Petition for Divorce, Financial Statements, marriage certificate, Divorce Agreement, and other relevant documents have been filed with the court, the case will be scheduled for a final hearing in front of a judge.
The following background is from a divorce mediation case John Ullian recently handled.
- Husband and Wife, Bill and Sarah, have been married for 25 years.
- Bill is 52 year old, Sarah is 52 years old, and they have two children in high school.
- Bill and Sarah have assets of approximately $750,000.
- Bill earns approximately $150,000 per year and Sarah works part-time earning approximately $10,000 per year, and she is attending graduate school.
These legal issues needed to be resolved by the parties as part of the mediation:
- Child custody and parenting plan
- Child support and how to address Wife’s current employment status (primarily a student) in the calculation
- Division of the cost of children’s extracurricular expenses, uninsured medical expenses, and college expenses
- Coverage and cost of health insurance
- Any potential alimony requirement
- Any potential life insurance coverage requirement
- Division of the assets, including the marital home, retirement accounts, vehicles, stock options, and bank accounts
- Division of the liabilities, including mortgages, credit cards, and car loans
The parties wanted to attempt mediation. They had a good working relationship, but there were several contested issues that needed to be resolved. They would have spent significant money if they litigated the case through the traditional divorce process.
The parties met weekly with John for an hour and a half at each session, and over three mediation sessions were able to resolve all of the disputed areas. They were reasonable and willing to compromise despite each party have strong opinions on certain issues. They each listened to the concerns raised by his or her spouse and took those concerns into consideration in the negotiations. The parties reached a final agreement within a month of their first mediation session for a fraction of the cost of a traditional divorce.
Divorce mediation does not always work out as well as it did for Bill and Sarah. Under the right circumstances, however, divorce mediation can be a very beneficial and cost-effective option to the traditional divorce process.
For more information on divorce mediation or to schedule your free telephone or Zoom consultation with The Law Firm of Ullian & Associates, P.C., contact us here.