Unique concerns arise when a divorcing couple has significant assets, including tax issues, estate planning, business interests and privacy considerations. A lot of money will likely be spent to fund expensive litigation and the publication of the divorce proceeding. This makes mediation a suitable option for this kind of divorce proceeding.
Here are three reasons you should consider mediation in a high-net-worth divorce.
1. Maintain privacy for the proceeding
Unlike a trial, every part of a mediation is confidential, and proceedings can rarely be made public. Documents used in a trial, including evidence of abuse, criminal acts, alcohol use and allegations, are publicly available, which may be perilous for high-profile individuals with a reputation to uphold. Besides, mediators cannot testify in court about anything discussed during the mediation proceedings, even when mediation fails and the divorcing spouses opt for court proceedings.
2. Cut down the cost of going to court
High-net-worth couples have far more challenging assets to divide. Having more money makes issues like spousal and child support more complex, and litigation can continue for years even when the initial divorce judgment has been made.
However, mediation allows the mediator to consult experts, such as financial advisors, forensic accountants and others, to develop a fair process under the law that will minimize costs. It also allows the involvement of mental health professionals to ensure productive communication, especially when deciding on crucial aspects such as parenting timesharing.
3. Provide flexibility in the proceeding
Considering the multiple assets involved in high-net-worth divorces, flexibility is often required to achieve the best outcome, especially when children are involved. Mediation allows the divorcing spouse to control aspects such as child custody arrangements and property division, allowing fair decision-making among the parties involved.
You also don’t have to deal with the tedious procedures involved in trials, such as scheduling the hearing, formal written discovery, depositions and attending dozens of hearings before the case goes to trial. The proceedings may last up to years, especially if there are a lot of assets to be divided, there is a lack of cooperation between the divorcing spouses or there are prenuptial and postnuptial agreements to consider.
With mediation, couples have the freedom to schedule the proceedings according to their schedules and move swiftly toward a resolution.
Involving a lawyer during divorce mediation is crucial. A professional can help you understand your legal rights regarding the state’s law on marital property, how to calculate child support, and how to prepare formal divorce paperwork once you reach a mediation settlement.