Issues to Decide During a Mediation

 

When you're going through a divorce - whether you do so using mediation, or the "traditional" way - there are a number of issues you and your spouse need to discuss and resolve.  Here's a list of the main issues divorcing couples need to consider.  (Of course, not every issue may apply to you).

 

 

Parenting Decisions

 

"Legal" Custody and "Physical" Custody Decisions

 

- sole custody and decision making by one parent

- joint decision making, but the children reside primarily with one parent 

- shared physical custody and joint decision making

- split physical custody and joint decision making

- how to decide on the "major" issues concerning the children

  -- their health, education, religion, major activities and general welfare

- how to decide on the "day-to'day" matters concerning the children

 

 

Access or Visitation Plan for the Noncustodial Parent

 

- weekdays and weekends

- holidays

- school vacations

- summer vacations

- birthdays - yours and theirs

- other special occasions - Mother’s Day, Father’s Day

- notice of changes to the schedule

- grandparent visitation

-  telephone calls

- Mechanism for problem resolution regarding children

- changeover times and places

- transportation responsibility

 

Geographic Restrictions

 

- foreign travel

- relocating with children

 

Notifications

                       

- addresses and phone numbers

illnesses and accidents

 - children’s whereabouts 

 

Future Issues

 

- decision-making and conflict resolution

- any changes in parenting arrangements                         

- periodic review/changes in schedules

 

 

Your Assets            

           

Your Home  

 

- who will live there during the divorce

- how will pay the household expenses during the divorce

- what's your house worth

- what will you do with the house

    -- sell it?  If so, when? 

        -- In a certain number of years? When the children graduate?

        -- When one party cohabits or remarries?

- will one party have the option to buy out the other

- how will you determine the selling price

- how to pay the household expenses until the sale    

- how will you divide the sale proceeds

- how to deal with capital gains tax, if any

                                                                                                                       

Your Retirement Funds

                       

- identifying retirement assets

- valuing retirement assets

- dividing retirement assets

   -- will you need a special court order (a "QDRO") to divide up a

       retirement plan? 

 

                         

Business Interests

 

- Identifying and valuing business interests

- division of value

- any professional licenses?

 

Division of All Other Property

 

- identifying and valuing all other property, and deciding how to divide

   --  bank accounts

   --  investment portfolios

   --  cars

   -- jewelry

   -- collections - art, coins, etc.

   -- furniture and furnishings

   -- sky miles

   --inheritances

   -- all other property

           

  

Your Liabilities

  

- identifying all debts, and deciding how they will be paid/divided    

    --credit card bills

    -- loans

    -- home equity loans

 

 

Support for The Children

 

 

Child Support

 

 Review and application of the CT Child Support Guidelines                 

  - amount of child support

  - possible cost of living adjustments

  - future modification

                                       

Nursery School/private school issues

 

 

College and Graduate School Tuition and Expenses

- whether one or both parties will save for college as the kids grow

how to pay for college when the children attend 

 

            

Medical Insurance and Expenses

 

- who will provide medical insurance 

- how to pay for uncovered or unreimbursed expenses

- payment of extraordinary and elective procedures

- orthodontia

- dental expenses

                       

Other Expenses for the Children

 

- summer camp

- extracurricular/extraordinary activities

             

 

Life Insurance

 

- who will carry it

- what are you insuring

- in what amount

- beneficiaries

- duration

  

Taxes

 

- file joint or separate tax returns

- exemptions for children

- division of refunds, or payments due

- liability for deficiencies, penalties

- cost of audit

 

Other Issues

 

- religious divorce issues

- resolution of future disputes

- religion of children

        

  

Alimony

 

- what is it for

- who will receive it

- how much

- how long

- modification of the amount or length of time

- will there be a cost of living adjustment

- health insurance for both parties

 

 

Stamford Office: 733 Summer Street, Suite 302, Stamford, CT 06901
Wilton Office: 190 Old Ridgefield Rd, Wilton, CT 06897
Phone (203) 359-1999
Fax (203) 348-7744

 

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