Mediation Page Introduction Transcript
Welcome to Divorce Strategies Group mediation page. I’m Denise French, Creator of Divorce Strategies Group. Our mediation process is really unique in that it combines a 20-year veteran family law attorney with a 25-year veteran financial expert. Together we’re working with the family to create an equitable division and a parenting plan that is a win-win for both parents.
Our family law attorney works with both the parties individually, and then together in the final mediation to help you understand the rights and the duties and the responsibilities and child support and all of the things that go with a parenting plan, including, and of course, visitation. The family law attorney also oversees the whole process to make sure that the decisions you make are enforceable in court and that they also follow the family code. That’s very important.
The financial expert provides all of the financial expertise that you may need. I am the financial expert and I help you value your estate and then I’ll also help with post-divorce cashflow and estate options.
This is critical if you’re an older couple nearing retirement and you’re facing divorce, which is very common.
For those couples nearing retirement, we not only help you value your estate, if you have annuities or stock options, et cetera, we will help value the marital portion of those, and then we will also give you information as far as cashflow off the assets you have. Therefore, when you’re dividing the estate, it’ll give you information. If you take this asset, this is how much income you can garnish safely for life based on standard financial planning guidelines. It’s a way to not only walk through the divorce in an easier, gentler fashion, but it’s a way to have an informed cashflow information post-divorce to help you make those decisions.
Not only do we offer the legal and the financial side with mediation, but mediation itself is private and confidential. Nothing is out in a courtroom or on public record in the mediation for others to see. If you would like more information on how this process works and you’d like us to speak to you about your specific needs, please click the schedule a call button on this page, and it will link to my calendar and we’ll do a free complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your specific case and how we might be
able to help you. Thank you.
A Unique Divorce Solution that Works
At Divorce Strategies Group (DSG) our mediation process combines the expertise of an experienced Family Law Attorney Mediator and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst and Mediator working together to help you achieve a settlement encompassing resolution with both your children’s issues and your finances. The primary goal of mediation is to secure favorable outcomes where the parties settle their differences outside of the court room by their own final choice, privately and confidentially.
Stay out of court – get on with your life
Do you and your spouse know divorce is inevitable but don’t want a long, expensive battle? Have you heard horror stories about divorce or had a bad divorce in the past and don’t want to relive that experience? Do you want to still be able to get along for your children’s sake? If so, we can help you.
Early Intervention divorce mediation in Texas is a way to divorce without the long, drawn-out battle. We strive to decrease the adversarial court environment and promote a cooperative win-win environment.
At Divorce Strategies Group we are offering a mediation experience like no other with D&D Mediation. Denise French of DSG coupled with Denise Khoury of Guajardo Khoury Family Law can help you customize division options and parenting plans to meet your needs – not follow the guidelines of a court who does not know you nor your children.
divorce mediation 7 step process:
Every family is different. Every divorce is different. However, it is our belief that families in general, are hurt considerably by long, litigated court battles, and this is a positive alternative to that process. We provide alternative dispute resolution services in a 7-step process where you will be guided each step of the way by Denise French & Denise Khoury.
Step 1: An initial meeting with Denise French, Financial Mediator, with you and your spouse. In this meeting we will learn about your situation, answer any questions you have on the process, and receive clarity on the desired outcomes of each party. We will also provide a list of documents we need for the estate valuation.
Step 2: Denise French, Financial Mediator, will complete all the data entry, analysis, and report preparation regarding your estate as well as post-divorce cash flows and tax options for each of you.
Step 3: Individual sessions are scheduled with each party to discuss your interests and review our findings regarding your finances. We will discuss your estate, taxation pursuant to the divorce and post-divorce cash flow needs and options. Each individual session in this step will include Denise French, Financial Mediator and one party. These sessions are NOT to make final decisions but to explore options, needs and financial plans.
Step 4: One party will file for divorce and begin the official legal proceeding.
Each party will have individual sessions with our Attorney Mediator Denise Khoury and Denise French our Financial Mediator together. We will discuss our findings in the estate as well as children’s issues including parenting plans, visitation, custody, communication, parenting rights and duties and any special needs your children may have.
Step 5: We schedule a mediation session which includes the Family Law Attorney Mediator, Denise Khoury, Denise French the Financial Mediator, and the parties. Each party will be in a separate room during this process unless they wish to be in the same room. We will negotiate the financial issues you do not agree on yet and finalize the financials. If you have minor children, we will negotiate the terms of your parenting plan including visitation, child support, communication, parenting rights and duties including medical, psychological and education rights. We work with you both to obtain a parenting plan you are comfortable with in a win – win environment for everyone. If agreements are reached on both the financial and children’s issues, they are memorialized in a legal, binding Mediated Settlement Agreement (MSA) which the Attorney Mediator, Denise Khoury files with the court.
Step 6: The MSA is then drafted into a Decree of Divorce which is required by the courts to finalize your divorce. The decree drafting is completed by an attorney as required by Texas Law and finalization is then completed for a few minutes in a “prove up” in the court room with the attorney and the party who filed or both parties if they both wish to be present.
Step 7: New Normal Strategy Session – We want to give you the best chance at successfully executing your settlement and financially supporting individual households. We meet with each of you individually after the MSA is completed to create a post-divorce financial plan to help you thrive as you start a new chapter in your life!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Have To Hire An Attorney?
Many people call us assuming, as mediators, we can help you wrap up all the negotiations, put it in writing and you can take that document to a judge and be granted a divorce. It does not work that way in Texas unfortunately. The courts have rules by which you must abide to obtain a divorce. To complicate matters, different courts can have different minute rules which can prevent you from obtaining a divorce without guidance from a Family Law Attorney.
To save costs and time we recommend you do this right the first time and be done with it. To do this, you must hire a Family Law Attorney. In our process you have a Family Law Attorney Mediator and a Financial Mediator to help you with negotiations. Together we provide financial expertise and legal knowledge to help you get through the divorce process in a softer, gentler manner that is done right the first time.
You are embarking on what may be the largest financial negotiation of your life – it makes sense to have a financial expert on board. If you have minor children, you are making a multitude of legal decisions which will affect your future and the future of your children. It is imperative to have a legal counselor help you navigate the plethora of legal decisions to be made.
How Much Will This Cost?
Our mediation packages are FLAT RATE packages which helps the family plan financially and avoids catastrophic loss to the family’s estate.
All in cost, without minor children, is approximately $7,450
All in cost, with minor children, is approximately $10,100
Considering the average cost of divorce in Texas, this is a fraction of the cost for a typical litigated divorce. We also strive, through the mediation process, to save the families from a complete annihilation of the ability to co-parent or co-exist with adult children.
You are technically hiring three entities with our mediation process. Your “All In” costs are broken into three pieces:
- Divorce Strategies Group (DSG) has flat fees of $4,200 without minor children and $5,200 with minor children. If you require forensic accounting or business valuation, separate fees for those portions will be discussed and agreed to in writing before work is performed.
- The Attorney Mediator charges $1,000 total for a half day mediation (no minor children) and $2,000 total for a full day mediation which is necessary if you have minor children. The Attorney Mediator will also charge $450 for an hour and a half of individual session time to each party prior to mediation, for each party.
- You will also need to hire an attorney to file for divorce, draft the documents and finalize your divorce with the courts after the agreements have been reached. This attorney (legally) must be different than the Mediating Attorney. We work with an attorney who charges $1,500 with no minor children or $1,700 with minor children to file, draft and finalize your divorce. Lastly, there is a court filing fee which is typically $300 which you pay to the drafting attorney.
We have sadly, witnessed many litigants spend $50,000, $70,000, and over $100,000 in the traditional divorce process. Our goal is to help save money for you, your family and get you all through this with your estate and your sanity intact! Stay out of court, stay in control, and get on with your life!!
How Long Does the Process Take?
Our process typically takes 30 – 90 days.
*The average time for a divorce in Texas is 12.5 months. We will get you through this, typically, much quicker.
What if we disagree strongly on several isues?
Without sounding flippant, this is why you are getting divorced. We will highlight where you DO agree and facilitate negotiations where you do not agree. That is what you are hiring us to do!! We do NOT guarantee an outcome, but thus far we have had strong success in helping couples negotiate a settlement. Our process involves two experienced mediators – one legal and one financial. Together we have mediated hundreds of cases and we have “seen it all”. We strive to help you get through this with your sanity in check, you pocket-book secure and your children emotionally protected.
We encourage parties not to discuss hot topics amongst themselves. That is why you have hired us. We will help you every step of the way.
Why use a Credentialed Mediator?
The Texas Mediator Credentialing Association (TMCA) Credential holders meet specific training, continuing education and experience requirements. Credential holders are bound by a mandatory Code of Ethics and a grievance process. The TMCA Credential demonstrates the mediators commitment to delivering quality mediation services. Denise French is a Credentialed Mediator and the attorney mediators we refer to have decades of mediation experience.