What If Your Marital Settlement Agreement Does Not Prevent Divorce Litigation?
Sometimes divorce lawyers can just tell, from the first time they meet a client, when a divorce case will need to go to trial. It’s Divorce Monday, and a woman walks into a family law firm, looking so effortlessly cool that you would never guess that her marriage was in ruins. She hands you a draft of her divorce petition, and you do a double take when you see that she and her husband got married in 1995, because from looking at her, you would guess that she wasn’t even born by then. She has been out of the workforce for decades, but the couple’s marital assets are worth millions; much of the marital property is in the form of stocks, cryptocurrencies, and other assets that fluctuate quickly in value. She explains that those are only the assets she knows about; her husband has never been forthcoming about his finances. This is not most divorce cases, and it could come as a relief to the 99 percent that most divorce cases can resolve during mediation. Your divorce lawyer can help you reach an agreement during mediation so that the court can finalize your divorce without litigation, even if your spouse tries to make things difficult. A Boca Raton divorce lawyer can help you cover all your bases during divorce mediation so that you can become legally single again without going to trial.
Common Sticking Points in Divorce Mediation
Most couples going through a divorce already agree on which one of them should keep the marital home and which parent should be with the children on school nights. These are some common points of disagreement during divorce mediation, especially since people never think about them unless they are going through a divorce:
- Children’s health insurance – Sometimes one parent insures the children through his or her employer-provided health insurance policy. If the other parent earns a substantial income, the court might modify the child support award to reflect that the other parent bears some responsibility for contributing to the children’s health expenses. As for children’s medical expenses not covered by insurance, these can also be a contentious issue during mediation.
- Tax credits – Sometimes it is obvious which parent should claim the children as dependents on income tax returns, but sometimes the parents alternate years, with one claiming the children in odd-numbered years and the other claiming them in even-numbered years.
- Life insurance – Sometimes the parties agree that one parent should maintain a life insurance policy with the children or the former spouse as beneficiaries. Doing this can reduce the amount of alimony or child support that you must pay.
It is much easier to get a satisfactory divorce settlement during mediation if you work with a divorce lawyer.
Contact Schwartz | White About Divorce Mediation
A South Florida family law attorney can help you finalize your divorce during mediation, so that you can avoid the stress and expense of litigation. Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.