Ending a marriage is a difficult decision. Couples considering divorce should make sure they have exhausted all efforts at reconciliation before taking this significant step. There are many good marriage and family counselors ready to help strained relationships get back on a more positive track. We encourage every couple to make a serious effort to save their marriage before starting the divorce process. If the marriage truly cannot be saved, mediation may be the best way to minimize further emotional strain as couples consider how to divide their assets and debts. The goal is to reach an agreement most commonly called a Property Settlement Agreement, which addresses the division of marital property and other financial issues that may be relevant to the divorce. For example, some marriages may involve inherited funds and/or property, business interests, various types of retirement accounts or pensions, significant debts, or other more complex marital estate issues. Additionally, couples often wonder if alimony or spousal support is warranted, or what happens if one spouse files for bankruptcy. These and many other issues are best resolved by open discussion between the couple and an experienced mediator. It is especially helpful to have mediators who have practiced in the divorce area so they can bring their knowledge of the law to the table to assist couples in reaching consensus, and who can then draft a Property Settlement Agreement that accurately captures the agreement of the parties and is presented in a format acceptable to the court. If minor children are involved in a divorce, a Parenting Plan will also need to be developed. For more information on Parenting Plans, please see the information provided under the Parenting Act tab.
Richard Sievers has decades of experience in divorce litigation and therefore has the necessary background to help couples consider all aspects of their marital estate. Additionally, as an appellate judge, Richard has reviewed all of the issues that arise in divorce litigation and has written numerous opinions that have explored and established law in this area.