Mediation vs. Litagation
Find a Conversation
|Thu, 11-28-2013 - 9:40am|
I unfortunately allowed my ex to call the shots as to how we proceeded through our settlement. He insisted that we use a mediator as we "have nothing to agrue about". Okay here is what I have learned. Maybe it will help someone else make a decision about which road to take.
1) If you earn about the same amount of money and there is nothing to split but property..... mediation might just work for you.
2) If you retain a lawyer to help you construct your proposals..... mediation might just work for you.
3) Otherwise.... run away, and run very fast.
Fortunately I am becoming educated before it is too late. I listened to ex and almost got screwed. I allowed some things to be used as negotiated items, and these were not tangible things, but financial things that I needed to impove my earning potential. I lost in that battle. Then I got smart. He played his hand and it is about to backfired on him.
I came here about a year ago to ask some questions. The question I never asked was about people's experiences with mediation. If I had, I might have taken a different path. If you earn substanially less than your ex, do not go through mediation. The financial obligation that is owed you IS NOT NEGOTIABLE. How it is paid is, but not the obligation. Of course this depends on your states rules. The state I am filing in is very generous to long term marriages towards the spouse who has less earnings. Using the law to get what you are entitled to is not taking advantage, it is protecting yourself and your future. Do not settle for less.
The other lesson I learned is if you agree to a settlement while emotions are running high, you are more likely to accept less "just to be done with it". Unless there are reasons why you need get out fast, take your time. Gain your strength back, you are going to need it. All the issues that led to the break up of the marraige come back to haunt you in the settlement process. You will need all the strength you have to get through this. You also need to have someone who is going to be your backbone when you cannot be. I am so lucky to have an amazing best friend and a wonderful man in my life who are straight forward and supportive as you go through this. During the times when I would have settled for less to not have to deal with this mess, they have kept me going. They have helped me think rationally.
For financial reasons, we waited 3 years to file. This gave me time to build up myself. Even with that, this has been extremely painful. For the times when I couldn't see any options, I had people showing me I did. I still have a ways to go in my divorce settlement, but I have regained (again) my strength and footing. I have the advantage and hold the keys to what he wants. Do not be afraid to fight for what you want. EVER! I do not want to "take him for every penny", I just want what is fair. He earns a huge salary, and I do not. He is not going to ride off into the sunset with all the options and money while I have gone without food or house without heat. The time I put into the marriage so that he could earn that salary, is worth more than that.
Find yourself. Find your strength. Do not be bullied or guilted into less than you are entitled to.