How To Control Divorce Costs In Difficult Times

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Divorce doesn't always happen when you want it to. In fact, it may occur when you can least afford it. Many couples are finding the same financial pressures that are contributing to the marital breakup are also making it very difficult to be able to pay for the divorce that results.

Divorces are expensive. Fortunately, the ultimate cost of the divorce is something the parties can help control. One of the benefits of choosing Collaborative Practice or Divorce Mediation is the ability of the parties to retain control over much of the cost of the divorce.

In litigated divorce cases, the attorney usually decides what "needs" to be done. In Collaborative Practice, the parties and their lawyers jointly decide how the case will be handled. They openly decide what issues need to be addressed, and how they will obtain the information they need to make their decisions. The parties jointly select appraisers, financial specialists, and child specialists. Duplication of these costs is avoided, as there is no "battle of the experts." The parties also develop strategies to gather and analyze information in an open, timely and cost-effective manner. In Collaboration, lawyers are not being paid to draft expensive adversarial court pleadings nor for the lawyer's time waiting around the courthouse for the case to be heard. Instead, the client's dollars are being spent trying to find solutions to their problems.

Mediation allows the opportunity to work together in a similar fashion, without competing experts. Here as well the parties work with the mediator to gather information in a cost-effective, timely manner. Although all mediated divorce agreements should be reviewed by capable counsel, legal fees may still be kept to a minimum by achieving early settlement of the case.