If you opt for a traditional divorce (you and your spouse each hire lawyers who require big retainers and charge $400 to $500 per hour) you’re not likely to pay your attorneys to negotiate the small stuff, e.g., how you and your spouse are going to split up your treasured DVD collection of Oscar-winning films.
But after the dust settles, and you’ve gotten a divorce, constructive communication with your ex may be impossible. You two may find yourselves fighting over leftover items that were too small to discuss in your divorce settlement.
In mediation, you have the luxury of talking to your spouse about everything that matters to you without running up huge legal fees. And you have the mediators in the room helping you resolve who should get Gone with the Wind and who really wants The Manchurian Candidate. Sometimes too, there is a lot more at stake than just an emotional attachment. Here is our list of some of the small stuff you should sweat in mediation. And every marriage has its own unique items:
Frequent Flyer Miles: This can actually be a sizable asset that the parties forget to divide. Especially if one spouse has racked up a large number of points on his or her own credit card alone traveling for business. Before the divorce, you might have talked about putting these points Moncler outlet towards taking a great family trip or acquiring a big-ticket item such as a flat screen TV. In divorce mediation, couples have treated their frequent flyer miles two different ways. If one parent doesn’t live close to the kids, couples sometimes agree to use these points for the away parent to visit the children. Or the parties simply negotiate splitting them. According to American Express you can’t directly give points to an ex-spouse who isn’t entitled to use your card. But you can “authorize” any third-party to use a specific number of points. Check with your credit card company to find out how you go about dividing up their points.
Season Tickets: You’ll no longer be going together to events, so don’t forget to negotiate who gets the tickets. It may be as easy as splitting them. Or hey, your husband all along had just been a good sport about going to the ballet. So it might not be a big issue. On the other hand, if you had two Giant’s tickets to the Super Bowl…
Collections (Books, CDs, DVDs): It’s the out-of-print books and/or the hard-to-find DVDs, etc., that people fight over the most. But in a few minutes of discussion, the parties usually have a clearer idea which person really wants and loves an item more.
Dishes, Furniture, Jewelry, Anything at All!! Couples who might have eaten off paper plates during the happy years of their marriage find themselves ranting over who gets the Wedgwood platter. Or the den couch. A husband gets furious that he spent so much money on his wife’s gold bracelet and wants it back. A wife demands a credit for the Rolex she bought her husband. Sometimes a couple needs to carry on over who gets the serving spoons, etc. It can be a cathartic process — a way for two people to mourn their relationship and express their sadness and anger that their marriage didn’t work out. Mediators understand that for some couples, it’s easier to move on once they feel they’ve had their say.
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