If you've never gone through the divorce process before, you likely do not know how it works from a process standpoint. This is why many people wrongfully assume that the divorce process takes place in the courtroom when it actually takes place in mediation. This is when you and your spouse work with a mediator to get the results that you want by working things out together. Here is what you can expect when going through divorce mediation.
The process starts by going through full financial disclosures of both spouses. You need to start by knowing which assets belong to everyone from the marriage so that things can be divided properly. This includes physical assets, bank accounts, retirement accounts, property, debts, and other things that each person may own. These items are put on a list so that each item can be dealt with.
Property And Debt Division
You'll work with the mediator to determine how to split those assets in a way that is fair to everyone involved. Assets that were owned prior to the marriage will often remain with that person. For example, if one spouse owned a car from before the marriage happened and still use it, they'll likely still get to hold onto their vehicle. However, assets that were joint purchases after the marriage was formed will need to be divided.
The same will apply to debts as well. New debts that were taken on after the marriage was formed, such as a mortgage, will need to be divided accordingly. One thing to keep in mind about debts is that both spouses are still responsible for paying them after a divorce, even if the debt is assigned to a specific person. This is because there can be an impact on everyone's credit score if a debt is not repaid. This means it is in everyone's interest to make sure debts are distributed fairly.
Support Payments Determination
You'll also need to decide on what kind of support payments will be made after the marriage, such as spousal support and child support. This is one thing that still needs to be approved by a judge, but you can take your best shot at coming up with support payments that both spouses agree to. Having the support payments approved by a judge ensures that the payments are fair and that someone is not being taken advantage of by being given less than what they deserve.