domestic-partners-mediation-servicesBuilding a life with someone does not always involve marriage. And that means that when you choose to separate from your partner, you won’t be going through the typical divorce process. But that doesn’t mean that there’s no outlet to help you create a separation agreement that will allow you and your former partner to move on with your lives. Lesa Koski is a divorce mediator for domestic partners in Afton, Lake Elmo, Lakeland, Maplewood, North St. Paul and Oakdale, Minnesota, which means she helps separating couples create compromises and find solutions to problems that seem daunting – especially when there’s no specific process (like divorce) to guide the way.

Property Division for Unmarried Partners

The most common challenges unmarried parents and domestic partners face during separation is determining a fair way to divide their property. If you’ve lived with your partner for several years – if you’ve both built a life together that includes physical property like a home, vehicles, and possessions, in addition to your joint financial assets and debts – then you’ll likely need help fairly separating these assets. Just as in a divorce, division of property is based entirely on facts. It’s based on when property was acquired, and by whom, which means whether it was acquired during your relationship, for use by both parties, in which case it may be considered joint property, or whether it is property that was owned by one party or another before or during the relationship. Having answers to these questions, particularly when it comes to larger pieces of property and knowing your individual financial history, will help move the mediation process along quickly.

Child Custody and Child Support Issues

If you’re unmarried parents, the child support and child custody laws that govern divorce are the same for you. Just because you’re unmarried does not drastically change the process of determining questions related to children. A mediator can help you find fair solutions to questions or concerns you have about child custody or support, and we will help make sure that whatever decisions are made are fair based on all the information you provide. When parents separate, just as in divorce, child custody is based on a number of factors, including the child’s relationship with each parent, who has been the primary caregiver, and more.

Challenges of Domestic Partners Mediation

Because there is no outlined process for the separation of unmarried parents or domestic partners, there are challenges to the mediation process. When going through a divorce, the process is fairly cut and dry, though there may be some bumps along the way. When you’re separating as an unmarried couple, the legal process is not quite so clear. Luckily, Lesa Koski has been a family law professional with experience in domestic partners mediation for more than 15 years, giving her the expertise to deal with the most challenging aspects of mediation. If you’re looking for a Afton, Lake Elmo, Lakeland, Maplewood, North St. Paul or Oakdale, MN mediator, contact Lesa today at (651) 214-5057 or lesa.koski@gmail.com.