Many facing divorce are confronted with the reality that going to court can be very expensive. The thought of mounting legal fees in the face of such a life changing event can take its toll. The fact of the matter is, however, that divorce does not need to break the bank. It also doesn't need to break down any remaining positive feelings you may have towards your spouse. This is why more and more people are turning to divorce mediation instead of taking divorce to the court system and dealing with potentially extensive litigation. Not only can the cost of divorce mediation be more affordable than litigation, but it also gives couples more power over the divorce process. Consider divorce mediation and take back control of the divorce process.
Yes, there are unavoidable costs of divorce. Divorce, however, is notoriously expensive to litigate. When a divorce goes to court to be litigated, attorney fees pile up quickly. This is due in large part to things like formal discovery. In litigation, attorneys will bill a substantial number of hours conducting discovery proceedings like depositions, demands for document production, and interrogatories, basically a list of questions requiring formal responses.
In divorce mediation, formal discovery is not necessary and spouses can make choices to reduce costs. In litigation, money may need to be spent on an expert witness to determine the value of an asset. In mediation, the spouses can work together to come to an agreement on the asset’s value. Additionally, mediation gives the spouses control regarding attorney involvement. While both parties are generally encouraged to seek legal counsel in divorce mediation, they have much more freedom as far as how involve they want a lawyer to get.
Mediation does come with costs, although they are rarely as staggering as those that come with litigation. Even the Minnesota Judicial Branch tells people that going to court is not always best because of the costs involved. While both spouses are usually advised to speak to an attorney before or during the mediation process, attorney’s costs are frequently much lower when representing a client in a mediation as opposed to litigation. The mediator will also require payment at a rate agreed upon before the mediation begins and it is usually an hourly rate.
It is also important to recognize that the costs of divorce can go way beyond money. There is an emotional toll that divorce can take on divorcing spouses and their families. One of the best things about mediation is the emotional costs that are saved. Litigation tends to breed contention and disagreement. The heart of mediation is collaboration and full disclosure. Parties are encouraged to work together to reach a mutually acceptable agreement. This collaborative process limits the collateral damage that is all too common in hotly contested divorces.
Divorce mediation is usually the better option for those couples that will still need to work together after divorce. This mainly includes spouses that will need to co-parent after divorce. The need for a couple to be able to work together to make joint decisions regarding their children and foster a positive co-parenting relationship is a big reason to consider divorce mediation.
Divorce is so personal and its greatest impacts will be on the divorcing parties. It makes sense then that the divorcing spouses be given at least some significant level of control over the divorce process. Mediation allows for this.
In divorce mediation, the mediator will meet with both parties, together and sometimes separately, to really work out what issues need to be addressed to meet a mutually approved divorce agreement. The mediator facilitates the process, but the parties drive the process. The mediator lays out the issues, the parties decide on how to resolve the issues. If things are moving along to quickly and either spouse needs a break, the pace can be adjusted accordingly. Everyone is encouraged to take a break, if needed. The mediator always remains neutral.
Because a couple is so empowered with mediation, the process becomes much more comfortable. Each party will generally walk away with a higher level of comfort at the outcome. This is why mediated settlements consistently show higher rates of compliance. A person is much more likely to follow an agreement that he or she had a big part in creating as opposed to one that was put in place without having any say about the terms.
The costs of divorce do not need to involve saying goodbye to a substantial amount of money and any goodwill that may still exist between you and your spouse. Divorce mediation can significantly reduce the monetary expenditures you make and foster a positive relationship between both parties. Twin Cities divorce professional Kimberly Miller is here to help you through the entire process. Kimberly wants her clients to experience the affordability and control that comes with a mediated divorce.