Can Mediation Help You Solve a Spousal Support Dispute?

Spousal support is one of the most contentious issues that arise during divorce. Alimony is sometimes viewed as more than a tool for support. If one spouse feels betrayed by the other, there is a temptation to seek spousal support as retribution. The law can prevent this from happening, but that approach can lead to weeks and months of bickering over money, when other issues are actually the catalyst for the feelings. Mediation can redirect this tension and desire for revenge, and help couples come to terms regarding what is a fair spousal support settlement.

Litigation tends to focus on abstract bartering. Attorneys must prove all the claims of their client, including estimates of income once the divorce is final. There is a great deal of bartering and using alimony as a bargaining tool to resolve emotional issues. In the end, neither spouse is happy, nor are other members of the family positively affected by the long, drawn-out battle.

Mediation guides divorcing spouses toward a less adversarial approach to spousal maintenance. The goal is to reach an understanding of each spouse's situation after the divorce. Emotions are resolved through communication and then, issues are addressed. Because mediation provides an opportunity for emotional closure and a chance to rise above the negative emotions, there is more focus on solutions instead of revenge.

Using mediation puts a human spin on divorce proceedings. There is an opportunity to discuss and put aside issues that should not play a direct role in an alimony settlement. Litigation creates a divide between spouses, whereas mediation allows them to work together as a team, despite the loss of their romantic bond.

The mediation process includes an honest evaluation of both spouse's financial situation. They work together to create a fair solution and remove the fear of the unknown. They deal with financial issues upfront and openly, so neither spouse is panicking about what the future holds. Mediation is an opportunity to have an informed discussion about cash flow, fair division of assets, and various household circumstances.

Mediators help divorcing spouses develop a reasonable economic plan for their separate futures. When done properly, mediation makes it easier for spouses to discuss and resolve maintenance issues in an equitable manner. Ultimately, mediation makes it possible to resolve spousal maintenance and alimony cases issues by keeping the discussion honest and solutions-oriented. The focus remains on the bottom line of each party's available after-divorce financial situation and how spousal support plays a role in that situation.

Dr. G. Douglas Lunsford is a certified Circuit Civil and Family mediator. He has a background in psychology which allows him to bring a unique perspective to mediation sessions. For a faster yet more effective resolution of any civil or family dispute, contact Dr. Lunsford at 813-924-3853 or visit http://herschlaw.com/certified-mediation.html.

This article was published on 01 Oct 2014 and has been viewed 621 times
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