Imagine feeling secure about your cash flow into your 90s! When couples come in for divorce mediation serviced here in Lexington, Ma., in Greater Boston, they receive a “collaborative mediation” approach; the skills, strategies, and support of both myself as a divorce mediator, and of our specialized Certified Divorce and Financial Analyst. After presenting each person’s fixed housing and personal expenses, comparing those to their incomes from all sources, subtracting all taxes, including any family support tax deductions or inclusions, the couple will learn in their second meeting what net disposable incomes they will have currently, after paying all of their expenses and taxes.
When people are in their 50s and 60s, social security amounts and pension, 401(k), or defined benefit or defined contribution retirement plan incomes, cash, dividends and interest are included to design a cash flow budget that will summarize what amount each person has to live on, sometimes into their 90th decade! The real estate, automobiles, cash, deferred compensation, and other employer plans, all retirement and investment plans are divided equitably between the pair. The couple finds the child support guidelines at “Tools” on the mediationboston.org website.
When all of the items on our Negotiation Checklist through the divorce mediation services are completed, a court-ready Separation/Divorce Agreement is prepared and issued to you for review by your independent review and advisory attorney. You will go into the Probate Court by yourselves at about 8:30 a.m. on a weekday to have a Judge review your Agreement, 401 Financial Statement, and any pension or retirement plan documents. 120 days or four months later, you will receive a Judgment Absolute of Divorce. If you change your mind about the divorce, you may revoke the Agreement up to 90 days, under what is referred to as divorce nisi. It will probably feel as though you are divorced when you go into court for your divorce hearing, but, in actuality, you will have to wait those 120 days or four months to be officially divorced and eligible to be remarried.