There is a divorce joke that goes, “Why does divorce cost so much? Because it’s worth it!” This may be humorous but it’s not very funny, certainly not when thousands of dollars of legal expenses are adding up. There are smarter and less expensive ways to get a divorce than without litigating in the court system.
Court is Often Unnecessary
Despite what TV and movies would lead you to believe, many divorces involve couples who have already moved out of one home, divided most of their possessions, and are living their lives separate from one another. Lengthy conversations between parties can only rack up many billable hours for the attorneys. Through Mediation or Collaborative Divorce, the act of uncoupling can be streamlined and simplified, and your money can be used for more important things.
When divorce lawyers get involved and the process goes to court, all communication must go through the attorneys, and your ease of settling with your ex can be contingent upon how well your attorneys (and their staff) can handle the issues. Rather than sending documents back and forth in a group email which is doable in a Collaborative Divorce, in a litigated setting, any documents must be examined and/or filed with the court and separately distributed to the attorneys, who must now distribute to the clients. There are additional charges that are incurred, including the cost for copies and postage, which is expected to be paid by the client.
During either Mediation or the Collaborative Divorce process, you and your spouse are encouraged to communicate directly with each other. This makes it much easier to coordinate certain joint activities, such as visiting banks to close out accounts that were opened together or temporarily modifying a vacation parenting timeshare schedule.
Courtrooms can be intimidating places for children and teenagers. They didn’t have a role in the relationship ending and should be involved in court sessions as little as possible. In some situations, they may even have their own representation by the court, leaving children uncomfortably discussing personal matters with strangers. The kids will come out ahead when visitation arrangements can be worked out by the parents on their own. Mediation and Collaborative Divorce can keep the children out of the court process, altogether.
Divorces are hard enough without adding rules of litigation to the procedure. If you are considering divorce and would like to know what your options are, contact us at Kim Mediation and Law Center for a free 15-minute phone consultation.