One part of the divorce process that can be especially contentious for Maryland spouses is that of property division. When it comes to dividing up marital assets, the heated emotions that a divorce can inspire often make it more challenging for couples to handle in a logical manner. One method that can sometimes ease this difficult time is to engage in divorce mediation.

Divorce mediation involves each spouse sitting down at a table with their own legal representatives and a neutral party to amicably negotiate the most favorable settlement for both parties. It typically involves a lot of back-and-forth and compromise, but in the long run can save money and provide an opportunity for emotions to be at least partially defused. One of the areas in which mediation can be particularly helpful is deciding how best to divide up items like mutual funds, stocks and bonds.

Another step that divorcing couples may find helpful is to engage the services of one or more financial advisers when sitting down at the mediation table. Financial advisers have specific expertise in the arena of finance and can sometimes help the divorcing spouses understand some of the more subtle nuances that relate to investment or retirement funds. One tip that some experts in this area might offer is to avoid withdrawing any retirement fund assets during the divorce if at all possible. This can help avoid some of the penalties and financial pitfalls that engaging in an early withdrawal may incur.

Financial advisers who assist with the divorce mediation process can also help Maryland couples decide which assets might be best given to which spouse. Many will try and encourage the spouses to consider the situation through the other spouse’s eyes as the mediation team seeks to reach a compromise that is beneficial for both sides. While this option may not be a good fit for all divorcing couples, for some it can provide the most efficient and least stressful way to move forward with their own separate lives.

Source:, “Financial Advisers Can Help Separate The Assets During Divorce,” Gary M. Stern, Jan. 25, 2013