Divorce mediation saves money in many ways. Here’s just one example how divorce mediation can save you money.
Lauren decides that divorce mediation won’t work for her. “My husband and I don’t get along,” she says. “We can’t talk.” She makes an appointment with a divorce attorney (“Jack”). Lauren and Jack discuss matters, and Jack tells Lauren that to get things moving, he’ll prepare a proposed agreement, which Jack will send to Lauren’s husband (“Greg”). Together they review Jack’s fee agreement. It requires a $3,500 advance payment, with Jack’s time (including phone calls and e-mails) billed at $275 per hour, which is about average for this area.
Jack drafts a proposed agreement, reviews it with Lauren, then mails it to Greg.
Even if Jack had sent Greg a box of chocolates along with the draft agreement, Greg is less than happy with Lauren’s attorney’s proposal. It’s all written in legalese, which Greg finds intimidating, and Greg doesn’t understand that it’s only a proposal—it’s not written in granite.
Greg sees it as a threat. He regards the draft as one-sided. The war has begun. Why?
- Greg and Lauren have not discussed the terms on their own;
- in the emotional whirlwind of divorce, Greg feels attacked;
- the proposal is highly favorable to Lauren (at least that’s how Greg sees it)
How will this approach help move the divorce toward settlement? It won’t. It’s human nature to want to attack when we feel attacked, and Greg feels attacked. It will make it more difficult and prolonged.
Divorce Mediation Leads To Civil Discussion
With a divorce mediator, there’s a distinctly different approach. Discussions begin and proceed on a civil note. No threats, no battle strategy, just a guided discussion of the problems that you need to resolve.
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