Divorce can be an expensive and extremely time-consuming ordeal. It leaves many people wondering if there is a better way. The traditional divorce process often requires you to solicit the help of an expensive attorney, endure endless court proceedings, and often accept as final a decision handed down by a judge. However, there are alternatives, and using a divorce mediator is one of the least stressful.
A divorce mediator seeks to cut down on the time and expense associated with the traditional divorce process, while helping parties efficiently craft custom-tailored solutions to the issues in their divorce.
Karen Salib, a Montgomery County, PA divorce mediator with SnapDivorce, explains five ways that a divorce mediator can save you time and money in your divorce:
1. Divorce Mediation is Private
Mediation sessions are conducted in the comfort and privacy of the divorce mediator’s office – not in a courtroom. Your divorce mediator will work around your schedule in planning mediation sessions and can often accommodate appointments over lunch, in the evening, and even on weekends. This means that you can save time that might otherwise be wasted in court waiting for your case to be heard, and avoid the unpleasant prospect of airing “dirty laundry” in open court.
2. You Know What Your Divorce Will Cost Up-Front
Many divorce mediators, including the attorney-mediators at SnapDivorce Mediation, disclose all costs and fees upfront. They require just one affordable, flat-fee retainer payment. In contrast, all divorce attorneys essentially require an initial retainer payment, which they will bill against your account on an hourly basis. In the vast majority of cases, this initial retainer is quickly exhausted and you are required to make additional payments to cover ongoing costs. Since the traditional divorce process is unpredictable, it is virtually impossible to determine how much your divorce will cost prior to its conclusion.
3. You Retain Control of the Outcome of Your Divorce Case
In the traditional divorce process, the parties often appear before a judge, who will hear each side’s argument and then issue an order. In many cases, neither party is happy with the result. Some people will appeal the judge’s decision, which results in continuing litigation and additional costs. Other disgruntled clients will simply refuse to follow the order, leading to contempt proceedings and, of course, more attorney fees. On the other hand, divorce mediation requires the input and agreement of each party to move forward. So couples who mediate are more likely to be happy with the result and subsequently to comply with their agreements. This saves both time and money.
4. Mediation Eliminates the Expensive Middlemen (Attorneys)
Mediation sessions allow the parties to communicate directly with each other, in real time. This is a benefit over the traditional divorce process, which inevitably requires a lot of back-and-forth communication between the attorney and client, as well as between the attorneys. This can cause delays and an increase in unnecessary fees.
5. Mediation Gives You A Neutral View of Your Case
Mediators are “third-party neutrals,” who will assist you and your former spouse or partner in reaching an efficient, amicable resolution to your divorce issues. Although mediation sessions can at times be emotionally charged and intense, a mediator can help parties successfully address and navigate these feelings so that the parties stay focused on the issue at hand. This will allow each party’s voice to be heard — without losing sight of the ultimate goal — and will lead to a quicker resolution of your case.