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Evaluative Mediation and the CDLP®: A Powerful Combination in Divorce

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Divorce is often a complex and emotionally charged process, especially when it comes to dividing assets like the marital home. Evaluative mediation, combined with the expertise of a Certified Divorce Lending Professional (CDLP®), can provide a valuable pathway to navigate these challenges and reach equitable solutions.


What is Evaluative Mediation?


Unlike facilitative mediation, where the mediator focuses on facilitating communication and guiding the parties toward their own resolution, evaluative mediation involves a mediator with subject-matter expertise who offers opinions and assessments. This approach can be particularly helpful and constructive in divorce cases involving complex financial issues like property division and mortgage financing.


In evaluative mediation, the mediator may:

  • Analyze financial documents and assess the value of assets.

  • Provide legal insights and potential outcomes based on case law or statutes.

  • Offer recommendations for possible solutions, considering the best interests of both parties and any children involved.

The Role of the Certified Divorce Lending Professional (CDLP®)


A CDLP® is a financial professional who specializes in the intersection of divorce and mortgage lending. They possess in-depth knowledge of the financial implications of divorce and can provide valuable guidance on issues such as:

  • Affordability: This is the process of determining whether a spouse can afford to keep the marital home based on their income, expenses, and credit profile.

  • Refinancing Options: Exploring various options to buy out a spouse's equity or modify loan terms.

  • Tax Implications: Analyzing the tax consequences of different property division scenarios.

  • Credit Considerations: Helping parties understand the impact of divorce on their credit scores and strategies for rebuilding credit.

How CDLP®s Enhance Evaluative Mediation


A CDLP® can collaborate with the mediator in evaluative mediation to comprehensively assess the financial landscape. This allows the parties to make informed decisions based on accurate and realistic financial information. The CDLP® can also help explore creative solutions for property division and mortgage financing, increasing the chances of reaching a mutually agreeable outcome.




Sarah and Mark are divorcing after ten years of marriage. They own a marital home with a remaining mortgage balance of $250,000 and an estimated market value of $400,000. Sarah wants to keep the house for the sake of their two children, but she is uncertain about her ability to afford the mortgage payments on her sole income. Mark, on the other hand, wants to sell the house and divide the proceeds equally.


Evaluative Mediation Process:

  1. Mediator and CDLP® Introduction: The parties, their attorneys, the mediator (an experienced family law attorney), and the CDLP® (a Certified Divorce Lending Professional) meet for an initial session. The mediator explains the evaluative mediation process, highlighting the CDLP's role in providing financial expertise.

  2. Information Gathering: The CDLP® gathers relevant financial documents from both parties, including income statements, tax returns, bank statements, and mortgage details. They also obtain an appraisal of the marital home.

  3. Financial Analysis: The CDLP® analyzes the financial information and prepares a Divorce Mortgage Planning and Real Property Detail Report detailing the following:

  • Sarah's current income, expenses, and ability to qualify for a new mortgage in her name alone.

  • The potential net proceeds from selling the house after accounting for the mortgage payoff, realtor fees, and closing costs.

  • Potential tax implications for both parties under different scenarios (e.g., Sarah keeping and selling the house).

  1. Mediator's Evaluation: The mediator reviews the CDLP's report and provides a legal evaluation based on relevant case law and statutes. They discuss the potential outcomes of different scenarios, considering factors such as child custody arrangements, spousal support, and equitable distribution of assets.

  2. Joint Session Discussion: The mediator and CDLP® present their findings and evaluations to both parties in a joint session. They discuss the pros and cons of each option:

  • Sarah keeping the house: The CDLP® explains the financial requirements for Sarah to refinance the mortgage and outlines potential challenges she may face. The mediator discusses potential spousal support arrangements to ensure fairness.

  • Selling the house: The CDLP® details the estimated net proceeds from the sale and how they would be divided. The mediator discusses the potential impacts on child custody arrangements if Sarah needs to relocate.

  • Other options: The mediator and CDLP® may also explore creative options such as a delayed sale or renting out the property.

  1. Negotiation and Agreement: Based on the information and evaluations provided, the parties engage in negotiation facilitated by the mediator. The CDLP® can answer questions, provide additional financial analysis, and help the parties understand the financial implications of different proposals. The goal is to reach a mutually agreeable solution that addresses both parties' financial needs and considers the children's best interests.


With the guidance of the mediator and CDLP®, Sarah and Mark can make informed decisions about the marital home. They may decide that Sarah will keep the house with a modified spousal support arrangement to help her with the mortgage payments. Alternatively, they might agree to sell the house after a certain period, allowing Sarah and the children to remain in the home until a suitable alternative is found. The specific outcome will depend on their individual circumstances and priorities.


By combining evaluative mediation with the expertise of a CDLP®, Sarah and Mark can navigate the complex financial aspects of their divorce with greater clarity and confidence, leading to a fair and sustainable resolution.


Benefits of Combining Evaluative Mediation and CDLP® Expertise


The combination of evaluative mediation and CDLP® expertise offers several benefits in divorce cases:

  • Reduced Conflict: By providing objective financial information and expert guidance, the parties are less likely to engage in protracted disputes over asset disputes.

  • Increased Efficiency: The process is more efficient as the mediator, and CDLP® can streamline the financial analysis and present options tailored to the parties' specific needs.

  • Improved Outcomes: Parties are likelier to reach fair and sustainable agreements that address their financial and emotional needs.

When facing the complex financial decisions of divorce, evaluative mediation with a CDLP® can be a powerful tool. This approach offers a unique blend of legal and financial expertise, empowering couples to navigate the challenges of divorce and create a secure financial future for themselves and their families.


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