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Waiver: Will support for either or both parties be waived and terminated? Will there be a one-time lump-sum buy-out of either party’s support rights?
Spousal Support for Either Party: If support will be paid, then you must resolve the following issues.
Amount: What is the amount of monthly support.
Term: How long should the support continue? Should there be an absolute termination, indefinite support, a review of support on a particular date, or a date for termination unless a motion is brought to extend support. In the alternative, support can be set at $0, but the court can still have the right to order support for either party for good cause for some transitional period.
Vocational Issues: Is either party under or unemployed? What is the requirement for that party to obtain training and employment? What are the income expectations for that party. Should reviews of that person’s employment progress be scheduled?
Unpredictable Income: How should bonus, seasonal or other unexpected or unpredictable income be factored into support?
Tax Consequence of Support: Is one party a beneficiary of the other’s medical insurance policy? How is that party going to be insured after the divorce is final, and who will pay for that coverage? Are there problems with insurability?
Future Modification of Support: Yearly reviews; required mediation; calendar important dates (Step-Downs, Termination, etc.)
*Adapted from Jordan & Miller, “Settlement Checklist” Reprinted with permission
I have known Peace Talks and their mediators for a few years now and I'm still amazed at the company’s passion to help couples in crisis come to a peaceful resolution. The mediators’ calm demeanor and broad experience give them the tools they need to handle the most volatile of situations with delicacy and finesse. Our society needs more mediators and less adversarial attorneys.