Alternatives to Litigation
September 21, 2016
When most people realize their marriage is over they tend to hire
an attorney, because they aren't aware of alternatives. But, there
may be a better solution, either through mediation, where you and
your spouse come to an agreement with the help of a divorce coach
and a financial specialist. Other team members like a child specialist
or business valuation expert could be brought in as well.
There are many reasons to consider divorcing using an alternative to
litigation. You will be in control of the process, not the attorneys
or judges, it can go much faster, it is more private and causes less
damage to the people involved.
Especially if there are children involved, you will learn skills to
communicate with your soon-to-be-ex that will make life after the
divorce much more peaceful. Your children will be less likely to be
put in the middle, and you both will be better equipped to deal with
the challenges that will occur after everything is finalized.
But an equally important reason is cost. By this I mean dollars and
cents. The average cost of a litigated divorce is about 20% of the
assets. Each parties' attorney ends up with 10% of the total portfolio.
For most couples, that is a powerful reason to work together to find
a better solution. Attorneys perform a good service, but it doesn't
have to be that expensive. Even collaborative law, where you have
several professionals involved, is less expensive because everyone is
focussed on helping the couple find good resolutions, not increase
billable hours. Agreements reached during the collaborative process
are far more likely to be durable, meaning you are less likely to end
up back in court after everything has been finalized.
Ultimately, you want to keep the family's wealth in the family. If
you can both agree on this point, it is worth pursuing an alternative
to litigation, either through collaborative law or mediation.