Getting A Divorce in California? Save Money with Divorce Mediation Instead of a Contested Divorce
Getting a divorce can be emotionally wrenching. Unfortunately, many divorces come with legal wrangling, financial difficulties, and attorneys’ fees. It’s no surprise, then, that divorces often end up wiping out the assets in a marriage, and locking up future earnings, as well.
Fortunately, there’s an alternative. If you believe that you and your spouse can amicably work towards splitting up, you can use divorce mediation instead of divorce proceedings in court. Not only is divorce mediation likely to be easier to deal with than conventional divorce proceedings, it is likely to be much less expensive, as well. You keep, rather than spending them on getting a divorce.
How does divorce mediation work?
In divorce mediation, you hire a neutral professional called a mediator, and, with their help, negotiate the terms of your divorce through mutual discussion. The mediator helps both parties express what they want, makes communication easier, but doesn’t make any decisions for anyone. You make your own decisions, with the mediator enabling the process for you. Mediators, for example, help you set an agenda for the discussions on hand, help you stick to the plan, and help you and your spouse talk about the terms of your divorce without resorting to placing blame or calling each other names. Mediators will give you legal information where necessary, help you brainstorm for solutions, and generally offer guidance.
How much money do you save mediating your divorce?
On average, couples getting divorced through conventional court proceedings spend $15,000 on the process. Uncontested divorces, in which both parties share a lawyer, can still involve fees worth $2,000 for the lawyer. Divorce mediation, on the other hand, costs between $100 and $300 an hour, depending on the state. If you hire a mediator for three hours and file your own paperwork at the county court, you may be able to get by spending less than $1,000.
The advantages of divorce mediation
Legally contesting a divorce in a court of law sets the groundwork for considerable legal competition. Lawyers, in their enthusiasm to win, may make use of harsh methods. In the end, there are likely to be hurt feelings on both sides. In many cases, all contact doesn’t cease between former spouses once divorce goes through. Divorced couples still need to deal with one another to raise their children. Mediation can help calm down potential animosity, and improve communication.
Mediation can also speed up the divorce process. The average contested divorce takes a year-and-a-half to complete. Sometimes, proceedings drag on for years. The average mediated divorce, on the other hand, wraps up in 90 days. Mediation makes divorce simpler.
The disadvantages of divorce mediation
Divorce mediation can work well when the parties involved are in a reasonable state of mind. Domestic violence and substance abuse are two leading causes of divorce, however. People with issues in these areas tend to be unreasonable. It can be hard to get them to work together with their spouses in mediation. Should mediation fail, the money spent on it will go to waste. They will need to take the conventional contested route through the courts and spend money all over again.
Consider the possibility of divorce mediation
In many cases, it’s possible to take a simpler route to divorce than the conventional one. You do need to have a reasonable working relationship with your spouse, however, and access to a good mediator. Ask potential candidates about their educational background. A degree in mental health or law can help. Familiarity with the Model Standards of Practice for Family and Divorce Mediation, published by the American Bar Association, can help, as well. As difficult as divorce can be, a good mediator can help make it far more tolerable than it often is.
Contact one of our Orange County divorce lawyers at Pedrick Law Group. You can receive your free case evaluation by calling 818-528-4936 or sending us a message via our contact form.