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Divorce Mediation; a holistic approach of your finances during separation or divorce.

Divorce Mediation; a holistic approach to your finances during a separation or divorce.

Money is what couples argue about often. So it’s no surprise that money-related conflicts are frequently cited as a reason for divorce. The reason for this is that money and stress often go hand in hand, whether it’s because of overextended budgets, unexpected financial costs, or the discovery of your spouse’s secret credit card.

Separation and divorce are among the most distressing and disruptive events that individuals and families can go through. They are extremely emotional processes which involve making decisions and reaching agreements on sensitive issues which have a direct, long-term impact on families. Making decisions regarding your children’s upbringing, calculating maintenance costs or dividing assets and liabilities can be very difficult under these circumstances. Objectivity and problem-solving are often dominated by emotion, and as a result, couples resort to litigation. Litigation, however, can be expensive, emotionally draining, time-consuming and have a long-lasting negative impact on family relationships and finances.

Financial issues do not discriminate — they can come between marriages with or without financial difficulties.

In my experience as a Family and Divorce Mediator, a holistic approach to managing the separation or divorce process is essential. The reason for this is that the focus of mediation is not solely the termination of the marriage or relationship. Mediation focuses on the entire family, the continued relationship of the parties and their finances for their families future. So if you are separating or divorcing, before you get the attorneys involved, consider Divorce Mediation.

Divorce mediation is an alternative to litigation. It is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) designed to resolve disputes pre, during or post separation or divorce. The process empowers participants to shape their agreements regarding parenting plans, maintenance calculations and division of assets and liabilities.

One of the key elements during mediation is empowering couples with appropriate financial advise so that they can make informed decisions regarding their finances and how this will affect their futures. Independent financial advice is wise; you want to reach a fair financial agreement.

Financial planners (advisors), with the appropriate knowledge in divorce and financial remedy proceedings, can add great value to a mediation. In our practice, we either invite the financial expert to co-mediate or as an independent financial expert (both require consent). With knowledge in pensions, investments, shares, trusts and tax, they offer advice on how to get the maximum benefit from their clients’ assets for their mutual joint benefit and provide an objective assessment of potential financial settlement options.

A financial advisor that we at Amani Mediation involve or refer to and can highly recommend is Ivone dos Santos from Frugal2Fire. Ivone takes the time to understand her clients’ complete financial picture. This enables her to work in partnership with her clients and the mediator to build and implement their settlement agreement and financial plans for the future. To find out more about Ivone from Frugal2Fire visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/ivonedossantos/

The importance of a holistic approach to divorce or separation and your finances

A Mediator’s role is not to advise. A mediator is an independent, neutral third-party who conducts the mediation. The mediator’s role is to help both parties identify, negotiate and come to a mutually-acceptable agreement on the various issues highlighted by the parties themselves. Therefore a financial advisor’s role is invaluable when it comes to assisting couples with the division of their financial assets and financial planning as they give advice. The financial advisor increases the likelihood that the parties and the mediator have a clear understanding of the financial situation and options available, which eliminates costly mistakes going forward and in turn, results in a better resolution.

If you would like to find out more about how do handle your finances during your separartion or divorce call Melissa on 072 590 9517, email melissa@amanimediation.co.za or visit http://www.amanimediation.co.za

Amani Mediation are based in Rivonia, Johannesburg and specialise in Family and Divorce Mediation. We employ a holistic approach to Divorce Mediation, working closely with a small network of psychologists, social workers and attorneys who share our philosophy.

 

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