By: Alan Freed
I’ve been a divorce lawyer for well over 33 years and for a long time I’ve elected to focus on options for resolving divorces that keep my clients out of the courtroom and leave them in control of the outcome. Here are a few reasons you may want to consider either mediation or collaborative divorce:
- Cost. Divorce trials are expensive. Even when cases don’t go to trial, when lawyers go to court for settlement conferences and motions, you are paying for their time, much of which is unfortunately spent waiting for their cases to be called. In a mediation, the husband and wife are doing the “heavy lifting,” gathering information and negotiating face-to-face in the mediator’s office, without their lawyers present. They can then use the lawyers for advice outside of the mediation sessions, which makes the best use of everyone’s time and money.
- Control. Couples who go through mediation or collaborative divorce participate directly in all negotiations. That way they know exactly what has been decided and how the decision was reached. If either side is not happy with the proposed agreement, they have the power to say no.
- Focus on Children. If you have kids, you know that once the divorce is over, you and your ex-spouse will still need to co-parent, often in new ways, with parents taking on new roles in the post-divorce world. Your children’s lives will be better and more secure and your life will be less stressful if you and the other parent can learn to work together. Think of it as a business relationship: You’re in the business of raising children. You don’t have to be in love with your business partner but you have to be able to get along to make the business successful. In mediation and in collaborative divorce, the focus is on the future, not on the mistakes of the past.
- Avoiding Court Tomorrow. Speaking of the future, if you are dealing with children, there is a good chance that you will need to consider changes to your parenting plan as the children get older. If you have established a track record of being able to work things out amicably in your divorce, you are more apt to try that approach when the need arises later, which means less money spent on lawyers and courts and more money available for college and other critical needs.
- Peace. Divorce is challenging in every way, but particularly emotionally. The sooner you can put your anger behind you, the happier and more productive you will be. Mediation and collaborative divorce allow you to work through the emotional issues and move into your future with confidence and with respect.
Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal’s family law attorneys can provide you with information about all options for resolving your divorce.