Case Results


Harmony Amid Complexity: A Mediation Success Story in Navigating Divorce with an Adult Son in College

October 2023

Divorce is undoubtedly a challenging journey, and when adult children are involved, the complexities can multiply. Recently, our mediator, Erin Birt, had the privilege of assisting a couple facing the unique circumstances of having an adult son in college. Their journey through mediation was an inspiring example of how open communication and a collaborative approach can lead to a successful resolution.

A Solid Foundation: Comprehensive Financial Disclosures

The process began with a comprehensive exploration of each party's financial landscape. Both willingly provided detailed financial disclosures, a crucial step that set the stage for transparent and constructive discussions. This meticulous foundation allowed us to delve into the specifics of their situation, ensuring that every aspect was taken into consideration.

Crafting an Adult Child Parenting Plan

Co-parenting an adult child comes with its own set of challenges. Through facilitated discussions, the couple worked together to establish a parenting plan that prioritized their son's well-being while adapting to the evolving dynamics of their family structure. The result was a plan that recognized the need for flexibility and mutual support during this transitional period.

Equitable Distribution of College Expenses

With a son in college, the financial aspects of education were a crucial point of discussion. Our team carefully evaluated the costs associated with their son's education, working to create a fair and sustainable plan that considered both parties' financial capacities. The goal was to ensure that their son's educational journey did not become a source of additional stress during an already challenging time.

Balancing Maintenance for Each Spouse

Achieving a fair and sustainable post-divorce financial landscape was a top priority. Through collaborative negotiations, the couple reached an agreement on maintenance that considered each spouse's individual financial needs and obligations. The result was a plan that allowed both parties to maintain a reasonable standard of living moving forward.

Complex Asset Division: A Delicate Dance

The division of assets is often a delicate process, and in this case, it involved navigating restricted stock units, bank accounts, and debts. Through a series of open and collaborative discussions, the couple reached an agreement that not only addressed the immediate concerns but also factored in the future value of these assets and the associated tax implications.

Addressing Dissipation: A Fair Accounting

One of the challenges faced in mediation was addressing dissipation—ensuring that any wasteful or improper use of marital assets was appropriately accounted for. Through careful consideration and open dialogue, the couple reached an agreement that acknowledged and resolved these concerns, providing a fair and just resolution without litigation.

A Mutually Acceptable Agreement

Despite the initial challenges, the mediation process was a resounding success. The couple left the table with a comprehensive and mutually acceptable agreement that not only met their immediate needs but also laid the groundwork for a more amicable post-divorce relationship. Their story is a testament to the power of mediation in navigating complex family dynamics with empathy and efficiency.

Your Journey Matters

If you find yourself facing the challenges of divorce, especially with unique circumstances like adult children, know that you're not alone. Our team is here to support you, just as we did for this inspiring couple. Let's explore how mediation can help you navigate the complexities of your situation and find a resolution that honors your unique needs.

Reach out to us for a joint orientation zoom meeting, and let's begin the journey toward a positive and tailored solution for your family.

Practice area(s): Mediation

Court: Will County

Erin Birt

Since 2003, Erin N. Birt, J.D., CADC has focused her practice on parenting time, divorce, mediation, and substance abuse issues. Ms. Birt's unique background in both family law and addictions counseling help her clients successfully navigate the complex issues of coparenting and divorce. Ms. Birt also devotes her time to presenting at continuing education seminars for attorneys, mediators, and counselors.

Family Centered Divorce ∙ Mediation ∙ Co-Parenting

Birt Family Law is the family centered law and mediation practice with a focus on Restorative Divorce; offering creative and supportive legal and mediation solutions with one goal: keeping the separating family out of court and working together towards a positive resolution.

We offer multiple options to achieve this goal including mediation, coaching, co-parenting strategies, and Restorative Divorce services. 

Are we the right fit for you?

Birt Family Law is committed to keeping the separating family out of court and working together towards a positive resolution.