Professional Details

Patricia A. Barrett
Certified
Senior MediatorSenior MediatorSenior Mediator

Lifetime Planning LLC

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10777 Westheimer Ste 1100
Houston, TX 77042
USA
832-858-0099
Fax: 281-596-7240

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Description of Practice

This Mediator is Certified
The goal of Lifetime Planning, LLC is to facilitate peaceful divorce settlements through the mediation of financial issues and the facilitation of a parenting plan. This is accomplished through customized financial tables enabling clients to see logical and equitable ways to divide assets before or after hiring an attorney. Services utilized before "lawyering up" will significantly lower cost. If we are hired after attorneys are retained, we can streamline the process and illustrate an equitable division of assets, adjusting for taxes and valuing pensions. Included in the financial road map is a 20-year cash flow spreadsheet which illustrates long-term effects of a settlement. Lifetime Planning has no product to sell; we do not manage money and are therefore completely objective with recommendations.

For Children's issues, she provides a fill-in-the blank parenting plan based on the Texas Family Code to allow the couple to establish their wishes and zero in on items needing mediation.

Professional Background

Patricia Barrett, with over twenty years experience in the financial services industry, began Lifetime Planning in 2004 in order to assist people facing divorce. Previously, she held series 7 (general securities), a series 63 license and was the manager of the Financial Planning Department for a prominent Houston Trust company.

Patricia is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA), and has completed Advanced Family Mediation Training through the University of Houston Law School. Patricia currently serves as the treasurer for the Association of Family Conciliation Courts and was a past treasurer of the Financial Planning Association of Houston.

Patricia attends continuing legal education symposiums several times each year in order to remain up-to-date on divorce rules in Texas. She teaches a recurring class to the public entitled “Divorce in Texas – Money and More” through Leisure Learning Unlimited.

Experience

Since completing the A. A. White Mediation training at the University of Houston Law School, Patricia has facilitated more than 200 mediations, helping couples reach peaceable divorce settlements. Many of Patricia’s mediation cases are referrals from attorneys that recognize her financial/mediation skills to help bring the couple to settlement. Satisfied clients refer friends and other budget minded clients choose Lifetime Planning services after researching available options.

Degrees

Abilene Christian University
New York Institute of Finance
College for Financial Planning, Denver
University of Houston Law School (mediation training)

Training

Dates    Trainer(s)    Title   
2004    Tom Newhouse    40-hour course
2007    Leissner and Hughes    Advanced Family Mediation 16 hours
2011    numerous    Texas Assoc of Mediators Conference, 16 hours

Approach

Patricia’s approach to mediation involves separate meetings with each spouse to establish individual goals and interests. A questionnaire is provided to guide them in gathering financial documents and coming up with a budget. A spreadsheet is then created with percentages for each spouse, based on goals and the rules of equitable settlement. We often devise "what-if" scenarios to graphically illustrate a client’s position post-divorce. We review each asset valuation and determine the proportion of separate and community property. Tax adjustments are calculated for assets such as capital gains, IRAs, 401ks, pensions, stock options, etc. so that each asset class is weighted on a more equal footing with the other assets. If alimony is possible and appropriate it can be offset with assets to give the paying spouse more of their pension (or other asset) and show the tax savings.

When emotions run high as they often do during a divorce, she encourages clients to consider this as a business transaction and to look toward their future, not the past. Patricia provides professional, personalized advice at all times.

Fees

Patricia charges $175.00 per hour for mediation and personalized financial analysis. This includes the on-site modification of computerized asset division and the illustration of long-term effects (20-year spreadsheet). Should the couple wish to forgo the long-term cash flow planning, the required hours are reduced substantially. Basic data entry and clerical duties are provided at $75 per hour for work not requiring Patricia’s expertise. Lifetime Planning provides a check-list for the clients to choose their services, with the goal of providing the most cost effective, advantageous plan for the client.

Other Information

In many cases Early Intervention Mediation makes it possible to keep attorneys out of the divorce prior to a settlement. After a settlement is reached, you are referred to an attorney who will work with the asset division spreadsheet created and approved by both parties to create the appropriate legal documents. Included, and very cost effective, is a letter outlining other areas of agreement necessary to draw the divorce documents and decree. This accompanying letter covers such issues as taxes, alimony, child support, home refinancing, household goods, depending on your situation.

This Early Intervention Mediation can save many thousands of dollars compared to dueling attorneys, with orders and interrogatories that anger both parties and cause additional pain and cost. Often, there is no need for divorce battles with this early intervention mediation. As a trustworthy divorce mediator, Lifetime Planning specializes in making this difficult time as painless and effective as possible.

Areas of Practice

  • Divorce (all issues) (300 mediated)
  • Divorce (parenting) (24 mediated)
  • Health Care (1 mediated)
  • LGBT (1 mediated)
  • Medical Malpractice (2 mediated)
  • Online Mediation (6 mediated)

Professional Services

  • Mediator
  • Estate Planner
  • Mediator-Arbitrator
  • Mediation Consultant
  • Collaborative Professional

References available upon request.

This dispute resolution professional keeps liability insurance.

Attachments

      Curriculum Vitae Patricia Barrett 2012.docx Curriculum Vitae Patricia Barrett 2012.docx
      Sample Divorce Tables.pdf Sample Divorce Tables.pdf