Traditionally couples fight tooth and nail spending a tiny fortune trying to get one over on their spouse. There are times when that becomes a necessity and when that happens, we know what we are doing to take it all the way, fighting all the way past the finish line. When it isn’t necessary, and both parties are acting rationally, you may want to look into the less expensive method of a mediation or uncontested divorce by using a divorce mediator. A mediated divorce is simply cheaper than litigated divorces.
When couples come together with a general idea in mind for how they would like to split assets and arrange custody, we can prepare the paperwork and file it with the Court making sure it can stand up to legal scrutiny. This will be considerably less expensive. Some couples come to us with no idea how they want to split assets and child custody. Even those divorces can mediated. The process of mediation, where the decision-making remains with the parties rather than a judge or two attorneys, works where a neutral third party mediator assists the parties in coming to a mutually acceptable agreement by focusing on cooperative problem solving, addressing all the needs of the parties and their children, and using some basic reality testing to examine what the results of the agreement may be as the parties move forward to prevent future problems from arising. There are many advantages and benefits to a mediated divorce.
- It is less expensive. – The “average” litigated divorce in Marion County (Indianapolis) is estimated to cost roughly $10,000 with both sides having to spend money on attorneys to challenge what their spouse filed through their attorney. Some attorneys will let this escalate out of control. In a mediated divorce, the participants will generally evenly split the costs unless otherwise agreed upon. So rather than both of you spending $250-$400 per hour EACH on an attorney to knock holes into each other, you can spend $100-$250 per hour resolving problems. In the end, a mediated divorce will generally cost one-third or even less than a traditional divorce. Make sure to ask about our sliding fee scale for low income couples.
- You control the discussion and the outcome. – You choose the topics that you need to discuss and settle. There isn’t a need to rehash already settled matters – no need to rub salt in an old wound. You and your spouse have the final say over the terms of your property settlement agreement rather than a judge. Decisions over one of the most traumatic events you will have, impacting your personal property and your children, should not be determined by strangers who can never hear the entire story.
- You get more personal attention. – It is said that mediation is not a replacement for therapy but it is therapeutic. Mediation allows for YOU to be heard, not just the attorneys.
- It is faster to the finish line. – Much more confidential.
- Scheduling flexibility.
- It protects children from conflict.
- It is a less adversarial process.
- More ways of crafting a tailored family plan.
Allows for greater post-divorce stability.