divorce and family mediation in nyc

jennifer safian, divorce mediator

212-472-8626    info@safianmediation.com

Divorce Mediation With High-Net-Worth Families: It Is Not Just About the Money

{2:48 minutes to read} When I first started practicing divorce mediation 15 years ago, the public’s perception was

Silver wedding rings on one hundred dollars bill background

that mediation was for people who did not have the means to hire separate attorneys to act on their behalf. Mediation, therefore, was primarily a way for them to save money on their divorce.

Over the years, my practice has included an increasing number of very high-net-worth couples for whom saving money on attorney fees was actually not the primary reason for choosing mediation. They truly felt that the mediation process was the best approach for them.

This approach, which allows them to make their own decisions regarding their lives going forward in a much less adversarial space, is a hallmark of mediation. High-net-worth couples generally have assets that are substantial and invested in a multitude of different forms such as:

  • Real estate properties;
  • Stocks;
  • Options;
  • Trusts;
  • Pensions;
  • Retirement accounts;
  • Art/Wine collections;
  • Partnerships in one or more businesses; etc.

These couples may sometimes also benefit from the presence of their individual attorneys in the mediation room. In fact, there have been situations where a trusts and estates attorney and/or a financial advisor have been present as well.

While the mediation is really between the parties themselves, the presence of other professionals will allow a party to step outside of the room with his/her attorney to consult on a particular issue, then return to the mediation space to continue the conversation. The combination of the mediation process with the attorneys present in the room has often proven to be an excellent approach and much more productive in moving things along.

Even with the addition of attorneys and other professionals to deal with the financial distribution, high-net-worth couples still choose to mediate rather than litigate. They appreciate the additional benefits of mediation, such as making their own decisions, working in a private setting, at their own pace, and improving their communication skills, as well as working in a less contentious environment.

And although they may not necessarily need the financial savings that mediation provides, like all of us, high-net-worth couples would rather not spend money they can use for the benefit of themselves and their families.

Jennifer Safian

jennifer safian. divorce and family mediator
divorce and family mediation
upper east side of manhattan (nyc)
new york, ny
(212) 472-8626
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