Couples with significant assets considering a divorce in northern Michigan may do so for a number of different reasons. There could be concerns about privacy issues, as divorce court could become a source of unsavory gossip that affects your personal or professional life in a small town.
You might also want to minimize the conflict involved in your divorce in order to shield your children from the worst aspects of the end of your marriage. You could just want to have more control over the outcome of your divorce than you have when a judge sets terms.
Regardless of your motivation for considering mediation for your Michigan divorce, you need to educate yourself about the process before deciding if it is right for your case. There are several potential issues that are unique to mediation for high asset divorces, as well as good reasons why it won't work for your family.
Agreeing to mediate could lull you into a false sense of security
Mediation involves working with your ex to set amicable terms for your divorce through compromise. Unfortunately, the fact that both spouses agree to mediation instead of litigation doesn't necessarily mean that there won't be disagreements. You need to prepare yourself for mediation rigorously, especially if there are specific terms or assets you want to secure in your divorce.
If you don't come prepared with figures, expectations and an understanding of your household debts and assets, your spouse could potentially railroad you. Working with an experienced divorce attorney who understands your goals can make negotiating less intimidating during mediation. It can also help ensure that you have good advice about the financial implications of any agreement you reach.
Compromising too much could be a regrettable mistake
When you have significant assets, there is substantial wiggle room for unique solutions to asset division for your family, as well as for custody arrangements. You may already know certain areas where you wouldn't mind compromising if you achieve success in other areas.
Desire to get mediation over with quickly or happiness at securing a single concession should not leave you to compromise too much. Remember, you want an outcome that is a fair and reasonable. Don't let your ex or their attorney steamroll you into an agreement that benefits them far more than you. Again, this is another situation that good legal representation can help you avoid.
Failing to research properly could mean an unfair outcome
If you don't know exactly what assets and debts you have or the reasonable value of non-financial assets, you could lose out substantially in mediation. You could agree to terms and file an uncontested divorce, unaware that you've waived your right to items of substantial value.
Taking the time to really examine financial records and the value of your assets can help you secure a more fair result in mediation. You may even want to work with an outside professional, like a forensic accountant, to make sure you don't miss anything of value before heading to mediation.