Newest Member: Serenity7

Divorce/Separation :
Divorce - Possible without lawyer, just a mediator?

default

 alucard (original poster Member #78796) posted at 6:54 PM on Monday, August 30th, 2021

After an enormously painful year of fake R, further ddays, and endless blameshifting, I've decided to start the divorce process.

Both me and WW don't have a lot of money or assets. We earn approx the same
We don't have any property, just a car (she can keep) furniture, some credit card debt, and debt with IRS.
No children.
We live in CA.

Assuming that she will accept an uncontested and amicably divorce, would it is possible to use JUST a mediator and no lawyers?
I already spoke to a lawyer and went over my financial situation and she told me that we would probably end up "even". No alimony, relatively simple asset/debt division

Would it makes sense to try to go the mediation route, saving us both thousands of dollars?

Thank you anyone for the help

posts: 92   ·   registered: May. 14th, 2021
id 8686261
default

grubs ( Member #77165) posted at 7:56 PM on Monday, August 30th, 2021

Not in CA, but I divorced without even a mediator. If both parties are civil and willing it can be done. The debt part can be tricky. The only debt we had was the mortgage and a car loan on her car that was in my name. I ended up keeping both debts as her credit was awful but also retained the assets on which they were attached. Best course of action is to require any debt to be refinanced into only the responsible parties name prior to finalization, but IRS and banks aren't usually keen to separate any party from the debt. Divorce agreements are between the spouses. Any lender is not a signatory of the decree so they are not obligated to follow it. Many times you find this out the hard way after your former spouse fails to make payments and the lender comes after you the non-responsible party after the fact. There's another poster here frustrated that his ex never refinanced the car that he co-signed for as per the divorce agreement. Two years down the road and she's stopped making payments and his credit is in the trash. Don't set yourself up for that.

posts: 736   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8686272
default

Bigger ( Guide #8354) posted at 1:50 PM on Tuesday, August 31st, 2021

Divorce isn’t really complicated but it can be complex…
Basically if you and your wife can agree on all aspects and list a division of debts and assets then a judge/court will ensure you are both of sound mind, both understand the agreement and then sign it.

Where it becomes complex is here: The IRS debt – is it yours or her? Is it for income that was earned in the marriage or before the marriage? Is it considered marital income (despite it maybe being your income) or the earners income? Is it HER debt and you are totally off the hook, or is it your debt? What if she doesn’t pay? Can they go after you? Would her not paying affect your credit?
Same applies to credit cards. Are they in any way joint? Was there an assumption of marital responsibility when applier for? (A card you request when married can possibly be considered joint debt even if your wife didn’t apply or use).

This is where the mediator and/or attorney should earn his fee IMHO. He needs to clarify what debts can be solely assigned to you, and what to her. You two then decide how to handle joint debts. There is a thread here on this forum from a poster whose ex wife forfeits on the car-payments. He’s a cosigner so it reflects on him – 18 months post-divorce. You want to avoid these situations.

Keep in mind that you two could sign an agreement that you are accountable for debt A and she for debt B. The creditor who owns the debt doesn’t have to agree to that. He can collect on either of you, and at best you could then sue your ex wife.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 9858   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8686399
default

barcher144 ( Member #54935) posted at 2:29 PM on Tuesday, August 31st, 2021

It is possible to get divorced without a lawyer and/or mediator. A friend of mine just did it, although it was not in California and divorce laws vary from State to State and from Country to Country.

That said, I strongly urge you to be very very careful:

You said this:

After an enormously painful year of fake R, further ddays, and endless blameshifting...

Which suggests that the respondent (i.e., your STBXW) in your divorce filing likely possesses a personality that is inconsistent with this:

Assuming that she will accept an uncontested and amicably divorce

Me: BH, age 47
Her: WS, age 44 (multiple EAs and PAs)
D-Day: August 30, 2016

Diagnosed with depression in December 2016, which was primarily caused by my xWW's affair and associated emotional abuse.

posts: 5098   ·   registered: Aug. 31st, 2016
id 8686405
default

grubs ( Member #77165) posted at 3:13 PM on Tuesday, August 31st, 2021

Keep in mind that you two could sign an agreement that you are accountable for debt A and she for debt B. The creditor who owns the debt doesn’t have to agree to that. He can collect on either of you, and at best you could then sue your ex wife.

It's not so much that they don't have to, they will not. Why would they assume additional risk for no benefit to them? The only way out would be to refinance that debt into one individuals name but that would require that that individuals credit and income be sufficient to assume the debt in a creditors eyes. Your creditors are not a party in divorce cases so any agreements are not binding on them. I agree that an attorney's advice should be sought on the debt. You don't want to mess this up.

posts: 736   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8686417
default

 alucard (original poster Member #78796) posted at 4:52 PM on Thursday, September 2nd, 2021

Thank you all for the replies.

The only shared debt we have is tax balance, on both our names (we filed jointly throughout all our marriage)
I hear the concerns; I'll have to better analyze the situation to avoid exposing myself to rather risky situations

posts: 92   ·   registered: May. 14th, 2021
id 8686806
Cookies on SurvivingInfidelity.com®

SurvivingInfidelity.com® uses cookies to enhance your visit to our website. This is a requirement for participants to login, post and use other features. Visitors may opt out, but the website will be less functional for you.

v.1.000.20210918 2002-2021 SurvivingInfidelity.com® All Rights Reserved. • Privacy Policy