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Rochester Law Blog

Common questions about divorce mediation

Are you getting a divorce in Michigan? If you and your spouse are able to communicate and you want an uncomplicated process, you may want to consider mediation.

Divorce mediation can be beneficial for the right couple, but you should know the advantages and disadvantages. Let these questions guide you as you make a decision about how you want to handle your divorce.

How can I know a mediator is well qualified?

People have good reasons to seek out a mediator to handle their divorce issues. In contrast to a court proceeding, contesting parties have much more control over the problem solving process and the eventual solution if one is reached. However, mediators are not as well known to the public as judges. Some Michigan residents may wonder who is a mediator is and whether a mediator can truly handle their problem. There are a number of ways that mediators can show their competence and qualifications.

As explains, many mediators are also lawyers. So if you want someone to mediate your divorce, it is possible to find someone who already has experience with the law and is equipped to answer questions and work out legal solutions with you. Still, since mediators are required to be neutral, it is wise to retain your own counsel as you work on your mediation.

How can you help your children manage life between two homes?

If divorce is on the horizon and the family unit is breaking up, your children will have to adjust to parenting time that takes place between two homes.

This kind of adjustment can be problematic for everyone, but mostly for your children. What can you do to help pre-teen Mike and little Annie cope with the new status quo?

How can you offer support to a victim of domestic violence?

Domestic violence is dangerous, but an often-silent issue that affects many families in Michigan. Because you may not recognize the signs of abuse right away, you may not even know that there are victims around you. Once you learn to identify the red flags that indicate that someone you care about may be experiencing abuse, it is imperative that you jump right into action to provide support, encouragement and protection. 

According to, approaching the topic of your concern about your family member should be done carefully and in an appropriate moment. If you can get your loved one to start talking, listen intently to what is being said and offer to help in very specific ways. For example, you can help him or her to form a safety plan that is coordinated down to each of the minute details to distance themselves from the perpetrator of the abuse. 

How important is a will to you?

As you have recently begun considering the condition of your estate in Michigan and are assessing your requirements for planning your future, you may have considered getting a will. However, with so many components of an estate plan, is having a will that important? Understanding the value of a will may be helpful as you go forward with planning your estate. 

It is important to note that a will is only a portion of what you may include in your estate plan. However, this critical document is your opportunity to make designations to your beneficiaries and heirs. With detailed clarifications made and finalized by you, you can provide direction for your surviving family members about how you wish for your estate to be distributed, as well as how you intend for any dependents to be cared for. 

You know what you want; we know how to help

Finances are about more than just the numbers -- hope and vision play a large part as well. At Bebout, Potere, Cox & Bennion, P.C., we believe that everybody has an ideal situation in mind for their estate. We believe that the only way to truly understand this personal picture of success is to listen to our clients' stories, goals and wishes.

We know that everyone's priorities are different. One person may want to establish a special needs trust for a specific beneficiary while another may simply want to express their preferences in a last will and testament. The only way we know is by asking the right questions and listening to the entire answers. Only then can we begin working to secure the best possible future.

What do you need to gather together after someone dies?

Losing a loved one is never easy. Making it more difficult is the uncertainty around what to do after you get the news. In Michigan, after someone dies it is up to the estate administrator or executor to handle the final disposition of property and follow last wishes.

If that person is not you, it is important you still follow the below steps to get the process rolling sooner rather than later.

Divorce, estate planning and time management

In the wake of your divorce, you may be facing multiple challenges. For example, you could be upset over the outcome of a child custody dispute, or you may have concerns about how your financial future will be affected by your marriage coming to an end. For some people, estate planning issues may also need to be taken into consideration following their divorce. For example, some people may need to revise their estate plan to remove their former spouse as a beneficiary, or else they may be entitled to some of the assets. Or, someone may have given their ex a great deal of control over the estate.

Taking a second look at your estate plan after a difficult divorce can be stressful. All of these responsibilities and decisions can make you feel as if you do not have enough time, and some people choose to procrastinate these important tasks because they are worried about their daily schedule. As a result, it is important to focus on time management both during and after your divorce. For example, perhaps you can free up some time by eliminating certain activities (such as going to the casino or watching television for hours) temporarily.

Filing for divorce without an attorney

Divorce can be challenging for many reasons, and some people are stressed out about the divorce process because they do not want to get an attorney involved. There are different reasons why people may feel this way, whether they do not trust lawyers, or they are worried that they cannot afford to work with a legal professional during their divorce. While it is possible to move forward without an attorney in some instances, this can be a terrible mistake in some divorces, especially if there are divorce issues such as disagreement over custody or child support.

When someone decides to approach divorce, it is crucial to do so from the right perspective, with a clear understanding of all options. There are all sorts of legal matters that can arise, many of which can be very complicated for someone who does not have any experience in this regard. Unfortunately, when people make mistakes during this time, it can be very costly and may also be problematic with respect to children and other aspects of a divorce.

Divorce and jealousy

Ending a marriage can give rise to all sorts of negative feelings, such as stress or even anger, depending on the outcome of a couple's divorce. Some people may also experience strong feelings of jealousy both before, and after they divorce their spouse. For example, someone may be jealous of their former partner's ability to secure custody or have access to certain types of marital property. Or, someone may be jealous of their spouse prior to the divorce due to an affair, their partner's success or some other matter.

It is crucial to address any negative feelings you have if you are jealous or struggling with some other emotional setback as a result of the divorce process. Moreover, it may be helpful for you to understand what your former spouse is going through. For example, if you suspect that they are jealous of you for some reason, knowing this could be helpful as you work through your divorce and afterward. For example, you may have a better understanding of their mindset when you communicate with them about custody matters and other family law issues.

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Bebout, Potere, Cox & Bennion, P.C.
821 North Main Street
Rochester, MI 48307

Phone: 248-805-1959
Fax: 248-651-8923
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