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




- 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


   -- 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




- 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





- 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



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