If You Want the Job, Just Write What We Say! By Don Sinkov{2:36 minutes to read} Couples often get the idea that they can save a lot of money during the mediation process if they write their own agreement, bring in the spreadsheet, and say, “Here, write this.” Experience has taught me that it usually takes longer to create the agreement this way than starting from scratch.

Couples haven’t gone through a divorce before, so they don’t understand about:

  • Property rights;
  • The timing and how to transfer property;
  • What kind and who is going to pay expenses until the property is transferred; and
  • Numerous other parts of equitable distribution.

They come in with their spreadsheets and say, “Here’s how we are dividing things.” They have sometimes used abbreviations which we don’t understand. It’s just endless back and forth, emailing and phone calls until we get everything straight.

Over the years, I’ve developed a form that follows the flow of the settlement agreement, asking all the questions in order. The questions are designed to get all the answers we need to write the agreement, and when we follow that procedure, rather than the couples writing their own agreement, it takes less time and costs less money, and everything is very clear.

Writing “your agreement” may result in an agreement that is very unfair to you, once you hear the possible consequences of doing it “your” way.

Let me do my job. You don’t go to the doctor and say, “I want you to operate on my left foot because it hurts. First, let me show you how I want you to operate.” Does anyone believe this is a good idea?

A sign at my automotive garage says, “The labor rate is $100 an hour.  If you tell me what to do and how to do it, it’s $150 an hour.”

At the time, I thought it was a joke. Maybe he knew more than I gave him credit for!

Don Sinkov

Don Sinkov
Your Divorce Mediator
Westchester County, NY
Putnam County, NY
Phone: (914) 588-6258
eMail: Info@YourDivorceMediator.com