Modifying Custody Agreement

Getting a divorce is never a simple, once and done deal, even though our clients sometimes wish it would be that way.

Life changes in the blink of an eye, and with that blink, comes changes that may not have been expected when your divorce was agreed upon.  Therefore, divorce agreements often need to be modified to reflect those changes and better serve the best interest of your child(ren).

It’s not uncommon for divorced couples who are co-parenting children to go back and modify their custody agreement, and possibly their child support payments.

There are many reasons why this may need to take place:

  • Job location
  • Lack of co-parenting at the level agreed upon
  • Medical needs (parents or child)
  • Financial hardship
  • Change in income
  • The child desires more time with each parent
  • Change in child’s expense needs
  • Change in living condition or location of parent’s home
  • Death of a parent

Each state has its own guidelines on what precedents could warrant a change, so it’s important to check what applies in your state.

Keep in mind, to succeed in making custody changes, there must be a very significant reason in which to do so. It can’t be because your co-parenting plan is no longer working as you would like it to be.

You will also want to understand how monthly financial child support payments and tax responsibilities will change in the future.

Modifying your custody agreement using the collaborative divorce process can help your family work through the changes in a non-adversarial, litigated manner with the assistance of family mediators.

Our team of experts can help you and your spouse develop a modified custody plan that is agreeable to both parents.

At Peace Talks Mediation Services, our custody mediation and parenting plan mediation services assist divorced, divorcing, and never-married parents in working together to develop a child-centered custody plan and improve your ability to co-parent.

Contact us today for a FREE CONSULT to see how we can help you and your ex work by modifying your custody agreement to meet everyone’s needs.

Note: This information is general in nature and should not be construed as legal/financial/tax advice. You should work with your attorney, financial, or tax professional to determine what will work best for your situation.

Divorce Checklist – How to Prepare Financially

Check mark in box.The goal of a collaborative divorce is to keep the family unit intact while mediating and working towards an amicable agreement.  Thus, avoiding the unrecoverable emotional & financial turmoil court and litigation can create.

We often suggest that clients prepare themselves financially before their divorce process begins and make financial plans after it has been finalized. Here is a checklist that we share with our clients to help them prepare for the task at hand:

  • Create a list of ALL of your household income streams, assets, debts, budgets, loans, and monthly expenses
  • If you own a business, bring the accounting logs
  • Detailed retirement and other investment records
  • Create an estimated post-divorce monthly budget
  • Create a separate bank account with your name on it
  • Improve your credit rating by paying any delinquent bills
  • Put off major purchases until afterward
  • Confirm you can access all shared accounts

Many people feel that once they have been through a divorce before, they know what to expect.  However, this isn’t always true because each divorce is different.  That is why you should always make sure your divorce team includes a neutral financial mediator who can help facilitate an agreement that works for you and your partner/spouse.

We have several resources on our site that can help you to financially prepare for your divorce.

Remember, the better informed you are about your assets, liabilities, and your goals for the outcome of your divorce situation, the more progress you can make.

At Peace Talks, our co-mediation teams of attorneys, financial experts, and therapists craft a settlement that works for you and your family. Our divorce mediators work with you to explore options, get the information you need to make the right decisions, and reach your own agreements, keeping you in ultimate control over your future.

If you would like to contact us to make a mediation or mediation orientation appointment, or simply to ask a question, please give us a call at (310) 301-2100.

Note: This information is general and should not be construed as legal/financial/tax advice. You should work with your attorney, financial, or tax professional to determine what will work best for your situation.

Dealing With the Financial Impacts of Divorce

Woman sitting next to computer looking at financial bills.

When you find yourself getting ready to start down the road of divorce there are many factors to consider.  One of which, is the tremendous financial impact a divorce could have on you and your spouse.

Peace Talks often sees couples who have complex financial landscapes and it can be challenging to untangle it.  However, with the collaborative divorce process, we utilize a non-adversarial, no court, no litigation approach. By working within this framework along with a neutral financial mediator,  the divorce process not only takes less time, but it costs a great deal less than a traditional court divorce.

At the beginning of divorce many couples are unsure of what the division of assets will look like in the final agreement.  Here are the areas that are mostly impacted:

  • Taxes – filing status, deductions and tax credits can be greatly impacted
  • Shared Debt –  each person will still be responsible for this
  • Alimony and child support –  will impact your financial picture
  • Financial income streams, debt, investments, retirements and assets

In order to get the full picture of you and your spouse’s financial landscape, make sure to educate yourself about what makes up your entire financial portfolio. It important to think with your head and not your heart – remember – cool heads always prevail!

At Peace Talks, our team of experts focus solely on mediating family law conflicts. We are a full-service mediation firm that specializes in helping people in Southern California settle their divorce in a sane and sensible manner.

We begin by helping you articulate your financial needs, concerns, and objectives. Then, we help you identify accurate values for your assets, debts, income streams and expenses.

Whether you are getting divorced, planning your estate or negotiating a premarital agreement, our team of experienced, skilled divorce mediators and family law mediators will create practical solutions to difficult financial situations.

Contact us today to see how we can help you navigate through your finances in a civil co-operative environment!

Note: This information is general in nature and should not be construed as legal/financial/tax advice. You should work with your attorney, financial, or tax professional to determine what will work best for your situation.

Professional Roles In Collaborative Mediation: Financial Neutrals

Man sitting at desk working on laptopWhen you first start on the road to divorce, it can be very overwhelming. Who do you listen to, where do you turn for support, and how do you wade through the murky financial water that divorce stirs up?

During the collaborative divorce process, both you and your spouse will work with a team of professionals who, along with the both of you, have decided in good faith, to stay out of court and amicably resolve your divorce.  This team consists of lawyers, mental health experts (such as a divorce coach or a child specialist) and a financial neutral who all work together to find the best path forward for your family.

A financial neutral  helps couples take stock of their financial landscape and develop a financial plan of action that is agreeable to both spouses.  A financial neutral’s goal is to help create an allocation of assets and income, and ensure that both spouses understand all of the financial interests for their family.

Here are a few items a financial neutral can assist with:

  • Navigate the couple’s financial landscape
  • Discuss and advise on tax implications
  • Provide information that can help with the division of assets and allocation of income
  • Work with each client’s lawyer to facilitate fair financial settlements

Due to their expertise and willingness to stay out of court, a neutral financial expert can be a vital part in helping your divorce get finalized quickly and be less costly than a litigated court-centric divorce.

At Peace Talks, our team has the experience and expertise to provide complete and accurate financial information, including tax advisement. We will work effectively with you, your attorneys, and other professionals to accomplish your financial goals in a collaborative environment.

Contact us today to see how we can help you and your spouse mediate a financial agreement that works well for both of you.

Note: This information is general in nature and should not be construed as legal/financial/tax advice. You should work with your attorney, financial, or tax professional to determine what will work best for your situation.