In today’s unsettled economic climate, many divorcing couples experience difficulty dividing their assets and planning their next steps. The process may seem overwhelming, especially as household income once used to cover one residence must now cover two households. To add to the confusion, investment accounts and “qualified” assets such as 401k accounts may have diminished in value. And while real estate values have increased in most places, the current market is often a difficult market to enter for someone looking to rent or buy. That is where we can help.
When Jeremy Howe and Tricia P. Martland of “Partners in Mediation” mediate cases, they offer a clear financial picture and options. This is often done utilizing a software program called “Family Law Software.” The software serves the important purpose of pointing out the true and complete economic position of the couple. Most often, one or both of the mediating couple do not have a clear picture of their economic reality. If the other party or the mediator(s) show that reality, they can be seen as “siding” with that person (who does not understand their reality) or as trying to defeat the desire of the other to be divorced.
Similarly, when Kristy Garside and Susan Brassard represent a party in a divorce action, we often are met with unrealistic offers from opposing counsel or we want to put forth a fair and realistic offer grounded on facts and not emotion. Our use of the software allows us to present clear projections of current and future budgets of each person along with accurate future tax computations. The result is the most accurate picture possible of the economic consequences of an offer or counteroffer.
More importantly, the software allows your mediators or your lawyer to manipulate all variables in order to help find the best solution.
All of these questions can be answered through mediation. Use of the software in mediation and divorce has been the key to showing our clients the “bottom” line regarding their future budget and their future estates. Additionally, some mediators use a type of mediation known as “collaborative mediation” where they bring in attorneys, counselors and accountants with the mediating parties to resolve domestic mediations.
In our case we bring two experienced lawyers and mediators: Jeremy Howe has over 40 years of experience as a divorce attorney and twenty years of mediation experience and Tricia Martland has two decades of experience with the Rhode Island Family Court including time as a mediator and 16 years as a legal educator at a local university. We bring our legal experience and knowledge into the conference room (or zoom room if preferred) with Family Law Software and found that our method is cost-effective. Our process allows each client to see the present and future effect of any offer on their bottom line. In all cases we offer mediating persons and clients the option of validating the data with an accountant. We feel confident that our cooperative and creative mediation approach coupled with the use of Family Law Software offers clients an effective strategy toward resolution.
We normally mediate as a team. While we have been practicing law and teaching for many years, when we mediate, we sit at the mediation table as impartial mediators only. At the same time, our knowledge and our experience give us the ability to guide you to your solution. We have found that “two heads are better than one” in the mediation process and our clients appreciate our different backgrounds and perspectives.
Mediation is still a mystery to many people since it is not as widely utilized in Rhode Island and Massachusetts as it is in other parts of the country. A good starting place is to read Jeremy’s article “Divorce With Dignity”. This article was written in 1997 for the Rhode Island Bar Journal. We also suggest reading our Partners In Mediation’s page What is Mediation? If you want to fully investigate mediation, go to www.Mediate.com
We work with CPA’s regularly within the mediation process and “Collaborative Law” is very similar to our method of helping you through your issues when there are money or tax issues. We utilize a cutting-edge divorce financial system called Family Law Software to organize data, test options, compute tax consequences, and to accurately review future budget projections and asset growth. Finally, the home page for www.Mediate.com will lead you to over 1,200 articles and resources regarding mediation.
You may ask us a specific question by emailing us directly:
Jeremy Howe email: email@example.com
The cost of mediation at the time of printing is $300 per hour. Most mediation sessions are 1.5 hours in length but may be scheduled for 2 hours. The usual number of sessions to complete a divorce is between 4-6 sessions. Mediation proceeds as slowly or quickly as the parties choose. YOU are in control of the mediation and set the schedule. If your mediation is successful, the end result is a written Memorandum of Understanding which sets forth your decisions in a way that is easily convertible by your attorney to a Property Settlement Agreement or a Custody and Property Settlement Agreement. The cost of the Memorandum of Understanding is a flat fee of six hundred ($600) dollars.