This article was originally printed here, at Derr Law.
When we think about getting a divorce, most people immediately start looking for an attorney to represent them. However, mediation has a lot going for it compared to traditional, court-litigated divorces. Here are four big reasons to try mediating your divorce before you turn to high-price attorneys and the courts to settle the issue.
Divorce Mediation is Healthier for Families.
First and foremost, mediation can lessen the negative impacts of your divorce on your children and family. Thanks to its less confrontational process, mediation usually leads to better long term relationships between ex-spouses. This makes all the difference for children and other close family who might otherwise get caught up in conflict from the trial.
Mediation Will Save You Money.
The average court-litigated divorce in Wisconsin was $11,300 per person. If you have children, that number was $17,000. Most of that cost, more than 80%, are attorney fees paid to prepare for Court. These fees are highly uncertain, because they’re charged hourly for service, usually at least $250/hour. Depending on how long your case goes on, you’ll continue to pay more in fees. Unfortunately, your attorney has few incentives to speed things up too, as that reduces their pay. Mediation costs less than $6,000 per person, and isn’t charged hourly. You’ll know upfront what you will owe, with less uncertainty and confusion. You get unlimited communication with the mediator as well, including phone calls and emails. Normally these would cost you, if using an attorney – with mediation it’s all included so you get the time you need to get your questions and concerns answered.
Divorce is More Private with Mediation.
Mediation takes place in the safety and comfort of private offices. If you place a premium in keeping the details of your marriage and divorce private, mediation may be the better option for you.
Mediation Avoids the Risk of a Trial.
Unless you are able to settle before hand, most high-conflict divorces go on to trial, where you cannot be certain of the outcome. In mediation, you and your partner come to an agreement you are both happy with, giving you certainty during the process and over the outcome. Because both parties commit to mediated agreements themselves, they are also associated with higher compliance rates. That saves you money, and avoids conflict in the future too.
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