My wife is asking for a divorce and my lawyer thought it would be more economical if we used a mediation service to work out the small details while leaving the big issues for the lawyers. Can you please advise where I can find mediation options for service members?
I'm not aware of any mediation services specifically for veterans. I'm not sure such a thing exists or why it would? Divorce is a civilian process and that one of the parties may be a veteran usually doesn't have any particular impact.
Divorce these days is a no-fault proposition and the court doesn't really care about who did what to whom. Unless you have an awful lot of money and property to be divided, divorce settlements aren't as complex as most think they are...unless you make the process difficult.
The court is interested in how much property or wealth there is to be shared and the status of dependent children. Money is divided up by a formula the state will require be used and child support and visitation are pretty cut and dry and unless there are special circumstances one parent gets custody, the other pays support to be determined by the court.
There are no special arrangements or considerations for veterans. Disability pay, retirement pay, certain benefits are all considered as assets by the court and may be divisible. Don't believe any rumors you may hear about how military and veterans benefits are magically protected in divorce...they aren't.
- PS from StatesideLegal: Many courts have mediators who will provide assistance in divorce settings and there are also private mediators in the community that may be a resource. In general, both court mediators and private mediators charge an hourly fee for their work. Some general information about the process is available here.