What We Do
Develop custody and visitation schedules
Support payment schedule,
Developing parenting plans,
Valuation of pension plans, etc
There are two major components to a divorce that are required by the state courts.The first is called a Parenting Plan (if you have minor children). A parenting plan in some states is also known as a " custody and visitation plan " or a " child support plan ". We believe we can help you achieve a better Christian parenting plan than a court can impose upon you. We believe that two Christian parents, no matter how embattled they are, know better what their children need than a judge who has no stake in your children's life. You likely can't develop the plan on your own because your relationship has broken down to the point of divorce. We all are Biblically directed to take any disputes to the Church for resolution, (MT 18:17, "If he refuses to listen, tell it to the church"); however, the local Church almost always is not capable of developing a Christian parenting plan for the court simply because most ministers don't have the training and experience necessary to handle these matters. We have resolved so many Christian parenting plans that we have the ability to bring our experience to bear on your case and assist you in developing a Christian parenting plan that works for both of you as well as for your children. The Bible directs us "Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, appoint as judges even men of little account in the church!" (1Cor 6:4). While we certainly don't know it all, we have handled so many cases that we know where so many of the pitfalls lay. We use that experience, prayer, and training to develop a customised parenting plan that is noticeably better than what the courts will issue.
The second component of a divorce is a Separation Agreement or sometimes called a Marital Settlement Agreement.The separation agreement is not the separation of the two of you, but rather, the separation of your assets, liabilities, support, and other material issues. We believe we can assist you to develop a better Christian marital settlement or separation agreement than the courts would impose upon you. The objective of the litigation process is to defeat the other side, not to do what is right. There is a big difference. In litigation, the objective of your spouse's attorney is to defeat and destroy you. Your attorney's objective is to defeat and destroy your spouse. The result of this litigation process is defeat (1Cor. 6:7). Christian Divorce Services objective is to assist you both in developing a Christian marital settlement agreement or separation agreement that is fair and satisfactory to both of you. Again, you likely can't develop the plan on your own because your relationship has broken down to the point of divorce. We will assist you to get there. The litigation process is so destructive that the reconciliation rate is approximately 0.03% after a litigated verdict. Litigation yields hatred beyond what you may experience now. There is a better way.
When all reconciliation attempts have failed, Christian Divorce Services provides a legally final and binding adjudication process as an alternative to the court system. So often, our churches are eager to do the reconciliation work, but when that fails, they step away. They feel they can no longer be involved in the “D” word, and turn their sheep over to the secular court system. “There is nothing else we can do for you, you’ll have to file for divorce” is too often said...
To achieve a divorce in the State court system you must file a lawsuit for divorce. But what does the Bible say about that?
“1 Corinthians 6 (New International Version)
Lawsuits Among Believers
"If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints? 2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! 4 Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, appoint as judges even men of little account in the church! 5 I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? 6 But instead, one brother goes to law against another—and this in front of unbelievers!”
Churches are willing to step in and mediate a resolution to a sin committed by one brother against another. Imagine going to church and asking for help negotiating a resolution to a theft. The church would clearly step in to mediate a solution. Churches are almost always willing to assist you resolve a solution to almost any sin between brothers.
When it comes to divorce though, churches quickly step away when reconciliation fails. How often do churches help divorcing couples develop their parenting plans or assist in assuring support is appropriate? Almost always churches send you to court to settle these issues. This is directly at odds with 1 Corinthians 6:1-6. On the other hand, it has been said, “a Christian should never have to pass the Church house steps on the way to the courthouse steps". How do we balance these competing philosophies?
This is done using mediation or arbitration, or a combination of the two. We believe this is the Biblically appropriate way to resolve disputes ( 1 Cor. 6: 1-6). Our staff are "neutral" and don't represent or take sides. We provide a non adversarial methodology and protect the best interests of both parties.
Mediation—uses a “neutral third party” mediator to facilitate a legally binding settlement between the two parties which is then filed with the divorce court as a final and binding dissolution. We use a five (5) step process covering all aspects of the dissolution. The parties control the outcome and unlike a trial, nothing will be imposed upon you. The settlement agreement will only be what you agree to and believe is right. We provide you with pre-work, and meet with you to develop your Christian parenting plan and marital settlement agreement or separation agreement. Afterwords, we send you drafts to review to ensure accuracy and your comfort with the agreements.
Arbitration--uses a “neutral third party” arbitrator to listen to each side's case and provide a legally binding settlement between parties that is then filed with the appropriate divorce court.
Combined Mediation & Arbitration—this sequential approach allows couples to work through, and agree to, as many issues as possible and then have binding arbitration applied to the remaining unresolved issues using one “neutral third party” to provide both services. This is then filed with the appropriate divorce court.
We believe that following the Biblical approach is the only proper way to resolve disputes, even if we don't like the nature of the dispute, i.e. divorce.
CDS recognizes the fact that even Christian marriages often end in divorce. At that time, many couples enter the legal system lacking Christian-based services to protect and guide them. CDS provides arbitration and mediation services to structure a legally-binding dissolution settlement, while avoiding the cost, time and energy of a trial-based divorce. CDS’ process protects individual privacy ensures adherence to Christian principles during a period of stress and conflict.
We do not grant divorces. We mediate or arbitrate the answer to all the questions a court would otherwise forcibly impose upon you (how should we determine custody, how much child support is appropriate, how much are our pensions and assets worth and how should we divide them, how much spousal support is appropriate, etc?). Only if you agree to all the terms is it then formalized into a document called a “memorandum of agreement’, which is submitted to the court to be made an order of the court. This results in a final and binding divorce or dissolution and serves as the "Bill of divorcement" (Deuteronomy 24:1-4; Jeremiah 3:8 NIV).