Consultation or Litigation
A divorce or any other dispute under family law can be resolved in two ways: in consultation or in court.
The first and best way is to make agreements with each other.
During a divorce, you can make joint agreements about all elements concerned, that is, the children, maintenance, distribution of assets and pensions. The two spouses are in fact free to make the arrangements they want. It is necessary to find out to what extent the parties deviate from the legal standards and what the consequences may be.
However, when it comes to financial arrangements, we recommend finding out if such arrangements have any consequences from a tax point of view. The tax authorities do not care much about arrangements made between parties, but they do have their own regulations. A SmeetsGijbels lawyer/mediator will always ensure that the fiscal consequences of the arrangements to be made are monitored closely, with the assistance of a tax expert or otherwise.
A consultation can often be difficult when you do not agree with each other in the first place and because a divorce is an emotional process that can hamper the consultations, it is wise to seek assistance for such consultations.
A mediator can offer that assistance. A mediator will try to get the parties talking to each other and to help them come to an agreement. A mediator is independent from both parties and also plays a consulting role. Apart from being lawyers, the lawyers (partners and employees) of SmeetsGijbels are also mediators.
A lawyer can also offer assistance. Sometimes, parties in a consultation situation prefer to have their own consultant. They will each hire their own family law lawyer, after which the parties and their lawyers come together to talk. This is referred to as a four-party meeting. Financial or tax experts can also be invited, if necessary. Both parties know they will be supported by an expert on the matter.
A special form of a four-party meeting is a collaborative divorce.