Divorce Mediation: Is It Right for You?

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Divorce Mediation: Is It Right for You?
Collaborative divorce means splitting without lawyers.

FindLaw answers, "Many lawyers charge a retainer fee of between $2,500 and $5,000 for most average cases, and bill the client for services in addition to the time covered by the retainer. The retainer amount will be substantially more in complex cases, so the cost of mediation from beginning to end can be less than the combined retainer fees would be if the parties hired lawyers to handle the divorce.

Typical divorce costs can run two to ten times higher than the mediation cost. Also, keep in mind that "cost" not only means dollars spent but the emotional cost to the parties and their children who go through litigated divorces. This emotional cost is greatly reduced by the mediation process. "

 

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{C}Divorce mediation is a growing trend among couples who want to split but without the carnage a divorce can bring. In a collaborative divorce a family mediator acts as a neutral party and sits down with the couple to iron out the details of their split. The mediator also gives the couple advice on the legal aspects of their divorce.  This cooperative form of divorce is a growing trend. MSNBC reports that couples are increasingly turning to collaborative divorce or divorce mediation. 

In contrast to mediation, in which divorcing couples entrust a resolution to a single neutral mediator, collaborative divorce involves the use of attorneys for each party, often joined by other expert consultants. But the lawyers, instead of sparring, pledge from the outset to work together in crafting an outcome that is fair to all. 

"Most clients in a dispute are looking for an honorable peace, not war," Boston lawyer David Hoffman wrote in recent op-ed for The Christian Science Monitor. "Collaborative lawyers can be just as zealous about seeking such a peace as litigators are about victory in the courtroom."