Many couples facing divorce, feeling more sadness and disappointment than rage, seek mediation instead of a court battle. Wanting to avoid the length, stress, and expense of a legal confrontation, they look for a professional mediator, a neutral party trained in diplomacy and compromise, to help them maintain calm and civility during this difficult transition. In many cases, such couples are trying their best to protect their children from feeling caught in the middle of a terrible storm.
Why You Need a Highly Qualified Mediation Attorney
What some people in this situation don’t realize is that even with a skilled mediator, it is important to have a watchful mediation attorney at your side to make sure that your interests are well-protected. Also, in case mediation becomes unworkable and the case has to be litigated, you already have a divorce attorney who is well-acquainted with the facts of your case.
Why You Need Orlando Family Team
In Central Florida, the best mediation attorneys around are the Orlando Family Team of Ophelia Bernal-Mora, Esq. B.C.S. and Andrew Nickolaou, Esq. A married couple with insight as well as legal knowledge and experience, the Orlando Family Team understands just how crucial the decisions made in negotiating a divorce agreement are. Even if both spouses are well-intentioned, without legal counsel mistakes can be made that may have long-term consequences for the family as a whole.
You probably realize that the various aspects of divorce are based on family law and cannot be decided in a vacuum. This means that it is essential to have a legal representative at the mediation table to make sure that  the matters you and your spouse come to agree on drafted in a document that is legally binding and  that you are not signing away rights — to marital assets, custody or parenting time, spousal and/or child support — out of ignorance or lack of oversight.
This is not to say that mediation is not a helpful process. While mediation attorneys will help to keep the process on track legally, mediators themselves will help the divorcing couple communicate honestly and cordially, and even, hopefully, to be able to view the situation from one another’s perspective. Having an Orlando Family Team mediation attorney along, though, will give you an ally in the room, someone whose long and successful history in this aspect of the law will provide you with an understanding you wouldn’t otherwise have.
Orlando Family Team Mediation Attorneys Will Make Sure You’re Prepared
As mediation attorneys we are fully aware of which documents you must have with you in order to have a transparent negotiation with your spouse relative to marital assets and liabilities. These papers will include any of the following that pertain in your particular case:
Assets and Potential Assets
- Current statements for all bank accounts (checking, savings, CDs, money markets)
- Current statements for all stock and bond investments
- Make, model and year of all vehicles owned as well as their Blue Book values
- Income — pay stubs and W-2 or 1099 statements for the past 6 months
- Current statements of all retirement accounts
- Statements of all employment benefits such as stock options or pensions
- Current market value appraisals for all real estate owned
- Personal Property — appraised value of jewelry, art, antiques and other collectibles
- Appraisals of all businesses owned for their estimated current market value
- Statements for any other private loans on which spouses (one of both) are lenders
- Information on any pending civil lawsuits in which spouses (one or both) are plaintiffs
- List of all life insurance policies held by one or both spouses
- Statement of the cash surrender value of any whole or universal life insurance policies
- Pertinent will and trust documents
Liabilities and Potential Liabilities
- Current mortgage balances, home equity loans or lines of credit
- Current balance statements for all motor vehicle loans
- Current balance statement for all student loans
- Statements for any other private loans on which spouses (one of both) are debtors
- Current balance statements for all credit card accounts.
- Information on any pending civil lawsuits in which spouses (one or both) are defendants
- Copies of state and federal tax returns for the previous 3 years + all corresponding W-2 or 1099 statements
- Copies of corporate tax returns for the previous 3 years if one or both spouses own a business
Contact Our Orlando Family Mediation Attorney
Our job as your mediation attorneys is to advise you about what you and your children are entitled to and to make sure that you understand when it is critical to stand firm and when it is reasonable to yield. We want to make the mediation process work for you and your family as you regroup to start your lives anew. Contact us as soon as possible so we can show you how to navigate these unfamiliar waters with as little turbulence as possible.
If you are about to divorce, you know all too well that life is full of unexpected occurrences. What seemed like destiny on your wedding day may look like a hopeless fantasy today. Even so, the changes that seem so hard to bear may become the underpinnings of a bright new, meaningful life, one more easy and stable than you ever imagined.