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What if my spouse hides assets during mediation?

Divorce mediation is an excellent option for many divorcing couples, but not for all. In a mediation scenario, both spouses may have great conflict, but must also be willing to resolve it fairly. If you and your spouse are both able to listen to reason and treat each other fairly given the opportunity, then divorce mediation may be a good fit, and can save you significant sums of money in court costs and attorney's fees.

However, if you or your spouse will not engage in the process honestly, then your potential savings may be irrelevant.

One of the primary issues that any divorce mediation seeks to address is the matter of asset division. When it comes to sources of conflict, asset division and child custody issues account for the bulk of them.

However, while it is difficult for there to be any secret elements to negotiating a child custody agreement, it is possible that one spouse or the other is not being entirely truthful about all one's assets when it comes time to consider a fair settlement.

Divorce mediation can only address what is brought to the table. If your spouse attempts to hide assets from division, not only will it undermine the spirit of the process, it literally takes money out of your pocket.

Divorce mediation can be a great source of savings, but if your spouse cheats you out a fair settlement because you didn't use a forensic accountant and he or she didn't bring everything to the table for the negotiation, then mediation may end up costing you more rather than saving you anything.

This does not mean that divorce mediation cannot work for you — it certainly may, and if it does, you will be ahead of the curve entering your new season of life. If you want to determine how divorce mediation might work in your circumstances, an experienced attorney can give you a more nuanced evaluation and help you choose the path that is in your best interests.

Source: Mediate.com, "5 Ways to Decide if Mediation Is a Cost-Effective Solution for Your Divorce," Shawn Leamon, accessed Feb. 21, 2017

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