Although the divorce is final, things change and post-divorce mediation provides an opportunity for ex-spouses to discuss these changes and how to handle them. Common topics that post-divorce clients often discuss in mediation center around children, money, and parents caught in high-conflict.
Post-Divorce topics parents often discuss:
- Child Tax Credit
- COVID-19 disputes
- Vaccination conversations
- Requests for changes to the parenting plan
- Changes to child support or alimony
- Homeschooling responsibilities
- Visiting relatives, other family members, and elderly
- Removing children from parental conflict
- Child support modification
- Changing the parenting plan or visitation schedule
- Discussing where a child will attend school
- New Partners
- Planning for a successful life cycle event
- Moving and how it effects parenting time
- Activities, lessons, or tutoring (who decides and who pays how much)
- Saving or paying for college
Post-divorce mediation for financial reasons is very common. Financial modifications may be sought to increase or decrease the amount of child support or alimony, or to discuss paying for camp, tutoring, private school, after school care, or college. Additionally, the updated Child Tax Credit is currently a common discussion in mediation.
Child Support orders in Massachusetts may be changed every three years or sooner if there is a “material change of circumstances”.
A material change in circumstances can mean:
- earning more money;
- earning less money;
- a change in the parenting schedule.
If any of the following circumstances exist, a child support order may be modified:
- the existing order is at least three years old; or
- health insurance previously available at reasonable cost is no longer available (or if available but not at reasonable cost); or
- health insurance not previously available to a party at reasonable cost has become available; or
- any other material change in circumstances has occurred; or
- both parents agree to an amount and the change.
When parents want to discuss changing the amount of child support, mediation is often helpful as it allows parents to discuss and calculate a new amount that works for both parents while keeping the parents collaborative after the mediation so they can continue to co-parent their children, on good terms.
Mediation for high-conflict co-parents helps to take the children out of the middle of the fight and works to increase effective communication among co-parents. High-conflict cases take time, but our mediation services have proven to be very effective.
Parents who are considering post-divorce mediation may also benefit from learning about Parenting Coordination.