Whether your divorce was a relatively amicable process or a harrowing and contentious ordeal, signing those final papers signifies closing one chapter of life and opening a new one.
But despite the finality you may feel, it’s unlikely that this will be the last time you ever interact with your ex—especially when you have children from the marriage.
In fact, there may even be changes you experience or junctures in your kids’ lives that warrant reevaluating your divorce settlement or judgment and modifying it to better reflect your current circumstances.
Modifications become necessary for many reasons depending on the details of your initial divorce terms, and you should always consult your Fresno mediation attorney to learn about your options and your rights.
While it may seem sensible to take formal legal action and let lawyers and courts handle the issue, working cooperatively with your ex and a non-biased mediator—either through a dispute or toward a common goal—can lessen the emotional and financial strain on everyone involved.
Modifying your divorce terms
Consider the following occasions that may require divorce modification and the reasons you should opt for mediation:
- Changes to financial support arrangements – Your or your ex’s financial circumstances are likely to shift at different points in life. Perhaps one of you loses your job, receives a promotion, remarries, or endures unusual hardship. As your kids grow older, caring for them and maintaining their standard of living also tends to cost more. Whether you are paying or receiving child support and/or spousal support, revisiting the terms of that financial obligation periodically is a good idea. Taking advantage of mediation allows you to stay out of court, minimize costs, and focus on finding a mutually beneficial arrangement.
- Changes to your parenting plan – Similarly to—and sometimes in conjunction with—child support, the terms of your parenting plan (i.e., the arrangement that determines physical custody, visitation, key decision-making, and other parental responsibilities) are likely to change periodically throughout your kids’ lives. Typically, courts will welcome a parenting plan you and your ex develop and agree upon through mediation, as you are more likely to adhere to its terms. This, again, eliminates the need for costly court proceedings and minimizes the likelihood of future disputes.
- Financial planning for your children’s future – As your children make their way into adulthood, they may have other needs beyond what child support covers. If you and your ex have the means to put certain funds away early for college tuition, wedding costs, and other financial needs, you can take advantage of mediation to set up the proper type of account (savings account, trust fund, stock portfolio, etc.) and determine how much each of you will regularly put into it. Even if you are unable to put funds aside early on, you and your ex may consult a mediator when the time comes to finance a college education, wedding, or other rite of passage in your child’s life.
Seek legal advice when you are considering post-divorce mediation in Fresno
Mediation is a useful tool for former spouses looking to adjust the terms of their initial divorce arrangement.
To learn more about whether post-divorce mediation is right for you, consult the knowledgeable attorneys of the Law Offices of Rebecca Medina by calling (559) 785-3295, or contact our firm online today to schedule a free consultation.