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Episode 237: A Voluntary Settlement Conference vs Divorce Mediation vs Trial

Episode 237: A Voluntary Settlement Conference vs Divorce Mediation vs Trial

Listen Here:  https://judyweigle.podbean.com/e/voluntary-settlement-conferences-instead-of-mediation-with-kathryn-costas-cdfa/

We hear so much about the advantages of mediation in an approach to divorce, and as a means to discuss and negotiate a divorce settlement. And it is a great way to arrive at an amicable divorce settlement. But is mediation the only way, and the best way for everyone to engage in a divorce settlement? In my opinion, no, it is not always the most viable way to discus, negotiate and arrive at a divorce settlement, nor is a trial.

Here are some reasons for using an alternative approach, like a Voluntary Settlement Conference, (VSC) an option that includes a round table of attorneys, financial experts, real estate experts, addiction experts, co-parenting coaches, and any other experts needed to help the spouses come to good, sound, decisions that will stand the test of time:

  1. The spouses have complicated assets that need another level of experts, other than a mediator, working together to help the spouses produce well-informed and thought out decisions.
  2. One spouse has difficulty speaking for themselves and needs the help of other professionals to chime in on their areas of expertise that affect settlement.
  3. Efficient use of time to have all professionals at the table reviewing the entirety of the settlement.
  4. A Private Judge presides over the settlement conference so that the decision-making can have a legal court reference to it on the level of a trial. The Judge in a VSC can be directive in terms of how a Judge in a divorce trial will more than likely decide on issues.
  5. A Voluntary Settlement Conference takes place outside of a courtroom, but packs the punch of a more formal court proceeding than a mediation.
  6. Starting with a Mission Statement can be enormously helpful in keeping spouses (and their attorneys) on track and focused on an amicable solution. A good Mission Statement can best be arrived at if both spouses have taken the time to grieve the loss of the marriage first and accept that their lives can change for the better post divorce.
  7. The goal for the financial part of the settlement is for two financially stable households. This can be arrived at with financial and asset experts involved in the settlement discussions.

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