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Mediation Can Save Divorced Couples Time and Money


The word “divorce” can conjure up images of dollar signs, lawyers arguing in a courtroom, and years of paperwork. But divorce doesn’t have to be that way, especially if both spouses desire an amicable separation. A mediator can help couples settle their divorce more quickly and less expensively than if they were to each hire a lawyer and enter litigation.

Divorce mediation can save money

The primary reason many couples choose mediation is to reduce the overall cost of their divorce. According to the American Bar Association, the cost of divorce mediation is generally 40% to 60% lower than divorce litigation.

The biggest expense in a mediation is the mediator’s time. One mediator works with both parties to come to a mutual agreement, rather than hiring a lawyer for each party. You may want to (and probably should) have an attorney review the final settlement before you sign, but the fee will be a fraction of what you would pay if you had used an attorney to represent you throughout the entire divorce process.

A mediator can often facilitate a shorter divorce process, keeping their billable hours down and reducing overall costs.

Mediation can save time

Mediation is meant to help both spouses come to an agreement. Both come to the table knowing that the mediator has each of their best interests in mind. Alternatively, the mediator can meet with each spouse separately to get a clearer picture of the desires the couple has for their divorce settlement.

Either way, having one mediator saves the back-and-forth time that you would spend when relaying proposed agreements and negotiating between two lawyers. Mediators also manage expectations and coach the couple towards compromise. In this spirit, couples are less likely to extend the process with emotional demands or disagreements.

While mediation takes less time than litigation in general, there are factors that influence how quickly the divorce can be carried out. If you have substantial assets, gathering information and figuring out how to divide your financial and material possessions will take longer. The more prepared you can be with your paperwork, the less time the mediation will take.

Emotionally charged issues, such as child custody and financial support, can take longer to work out. Mediation can help move this along; their goal is to help divorcing couples reach a plan that is mutually agreed upon and works for everyone, including the children. Perhaps the best part is that the entire process can be kept out of court.

If you need help determining whether divorce mediation is right for you, or if you have questions regarding other family law issues, please contact us. The initial consultation with one of our dedicated family law attorneys is free.

John J. Negley, Jr., CFLS*
Michael J. Rutkowski, CFLS*
Jeffrey F. Aisen, Esq.
(805) 644-4222
200 E Santa Clara St #200, Ventura, California 93001
*Certified Family Law Specialist by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization.

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