We are getting a divorce,
what do we have to take into account and who can we turn to?
Mijn partner wil scheiden,
wat kan ik nog doen en wat zijn mijn rechten?
We already have a mediator,
but I want to know more.
Perhaps the most important choice in a divorce is whether the divorcing partners will hire a single consultant/divorce counsellor together, or whether they will each hire their own attorney. I recommend that you first look at whether hiring a consultant together is negotiable. I prefer to work for both partners, because the coordination is much more direct and faster. I can also look for tailor-made solutions that will help both partners. This ensures that there is a better basis for complying with the agreements after the divorce has been finalised.
When faced with your partner’s decision to divorce, you may feel like you no longer have a choice. What is the right strategy for you? How can you prepare for the divorce process and what are things you should not do? I would like to help you through this first difficult period. In this situation, I also suggest that you explore whether your partner would be open to hiring one consultant/counsellor together. During a first telephone conversation, I would be happy to discuss what I can do for you, with or without your partner.
Sometimes, during the mediation process, one of the partners needs more information or a second opinion. You are free to seek additional advice. I am happy to fulfil that role, to make additional calculations and to provide information and tips for follow-up meetings. You may inform your partner and the mediator about my role, but it is not mandatory. My ultimate goal is to help the mediation process forward so that clarity can be achieved.
In a divorce, I can work with both partners or on behalf of one of them.
Making agreements with both divorcing partners
During an exploratory meeting, I get to know both partners. Then I request all documentation relating to the financial situation. I inform the partners about the legal rules and the outcome of the calculations in a detailed letter. In this letter, I provide insight into the points on which agreements must be made. The subjects are not unrelated; I look for creative solutions in cohesion.
If, after discussing the letter, the outlines of the agreements are clear, I draw up a draft settlement. During a meeting, I explain the settlement, so that the consequences for the future become clear. After the settlement and parenting plan have been signed, I hand over the settlement to a family law lawyer. The lawyer files for divorce with the court and informs the divorcing partners of the progress by email.
After registration with the municipality, there is still a lot to arrange. I inform the divorced partners of the action points and, if necessary, call in other experts, such as a civil-law notary or a mortgage consultant.
Individual advice for one of the partners
Another way of working is when I am called in by one of the divorcing partners. In that case, I play a secondary role for this partner, for example by offering a second opinion on the calculations made. At the same time, I play the role of sparring partner, so that my client is well prepared for the mediation process.
Over the past 15 years, I have counselled many clients through their divorce. Despite the fact that they experience a divorce as a difficult period, I often receive positive feedback afterwards. I would like to share some of my experiences.
One of the partners wanted a divorce, with which the other was having great difficulties. I invited both of them, and asked them about their considerations to see if there were any alternatives. The divorce turned out to be unavoidable; I informed the divorcing partners about the points that needed to be agreed upon and about the legal frameworks. I then examined, with them, which solutions would suit them. Finally, I counselled them in their search for consensus and laid down the agreements they had made in a settlement.
Partner of an entrepreneur
An entrepreneur and his partner had engaged a mediator for their divorce. The entrepreneur had an affinity with numbers, was quick to respond and was in close contact with his own accountant. The partner did not feel at home in the subject matter and called on me to check the calculations, provide additional information and offer input for the mediation talks.
A couple had made an appointment with me because they wanted a divorce. In the consulting room, I asked each of them in more depth about their story. I identified points of departure on which the partners could still come together. Surprisingly, during this conversation the partners decided to put the divorce process on hold and to give couples therapy a chance. I still look back on this special conversation with great satisfaction.
If your question is not listed, or you would like more information, please feel free to contact me!
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Initially, there are a lot of questions and you probably will not be in a mindset to figure out everything calmly. This is precisely when it is important to call in an expert, to advise you on both the approach and the content. One of the first considerations is whether this consultant will only look after your interests or will also be working with your partner. I am happy to help you with this choice.
In a period of uncertainty and change, the house often stands for security and peace, especially for the children. In consultation with a mortgage consultant, I will make calculations to see whether it is feasible to continue living in the house. Income and maintenance play an important role in this. If it does not seem feasible, I will look for other solutions to realise the housing needs.
If you are living together, you do not need to hire a lawyer and you could make agreements together about the house, the children and your pension. I would be happy to tell you more about the added value I can offer by calculating child support, checking the feasibility of the housing question, paying attention to fiscal bottlenecks and documenting the agreements in a settlement.