Cost Savings of Mediation Significant Compared to Divorce

Cost Savings of Mediation Significant Compared to Divorce

Divorce is rarely a pleasant experience for any of the people involved, no matter how many legal contracts are in place to smooth the process. Many couples hope to thwart disaster with a prenuptial agreement, postnuptial agreement or legal separation agreement, and those can certainly help. But in the end, the simplest path to a resolution is divorce mediation. Here is more about the concept and a breakdown of what couples can save by going that route.

 

Divorce Mediation

Mediation is an out-of-court process that uses a trained third party to help couples decide on the terms of their divorce. The mediator meets with both members of the couple and gathers information about the status of their assets, children and other issues. Couples who choose mediation agree to abide by whatever provisions the mediator sets, and that helps keep the atmosphere respectful and friendly throughout the process. The mediator’s suggestions are based on conversations with the couple, the documents they provide about their assets and whether children are part of the equation.

 

Financial Expenses

Regular divorces can be very expensive because there are two attorneys involved. Each of them likely charges a retainer in addition to gradual payments and other fees. The court requires its own fees as well for various parts of the divorce process. In the end, these costs can add up to tens of thousands of dollars or more, depending how contentious the proceedings get.

Divorce mediation doesn’t involve lawyers or courts. The entire process is simpler and therefore less expensive, usually around $4,000 or so if children are involved. The cost is lower if minor children are not involved.

 

Emotional Cost

Of course, there is no dollar figure that can cover the cost of emotional stress that comes from divisive divorce proceedings. The situation is hurtful enough to adults, but children bear the biggest emotional burden. Add in the influence of two adversarial attorneys and the tension that comes with them, and there is a recipe for extreme emotional duress.

Couples who choose divorce mediation will cut down on stress and anxiety because both members are working to reach the best conclusion. Because the mediator has the final say in the division of assets and not a judge, there is less opportunity for emotional outbursts or fighting about the mediator’s decisions.

 

Other Factors

In addition to monetary and emotional expenses, contentious divorces that are fought in the court have other costs. Time is an important one. In-court divorces can take months or years to resolve, depending on the number of court appearances needed. In contrast, resolutions involving divorce mediation can take just hours to hammer out and weeks to push the paperwork through. There is less hostility, no lawyer interaction and no disputing the outcome when couples choose divorce mediation to resolve their case.

Divorce cases are rough even in the best of circumstances. Couples who choose to go the mediation route can save money, time and emotional duress during the process. The ability to lessen the divorce stress makes mediation the logical option for both adults and their children.

 

 

 

About Oliver Ross

Oliver Ross, JD*, PhD founded Out-of-Court Solutions Inc. in 1995 and since then has mediated over 3,000 divorce and family matters. He is a select member of the Maricopa Superior Court Family Mediation roster