There’s no Mediation in Baseball! The Dodgers Would Disagree

Frank and Jamie McCourt, owner or owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers? 

The court may have the final say for whether they both are owners.  After 10 hours of mediation, the McCourt’s did not reach a settlement.  The legal question is: will the Dodgers be ruled as the couples community property or will Frank have sole ownership?

While not all divorcing couples have nearly as lucrative assets to fight over, many couples fight as if millions of dollars are on the line.  At the end of the day, many divorcing couples exhaust thousands of dollars fighting over assets that are not worth what they pay in legal fees.  Working out these issues through mediation can be a far smarter financial decision in the long run.

Frank and Jamie McCourt – Will the true owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers please stand up!

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Connecticut – Take a Bow!

“Connecticut Mandates Mediation for Medical Malpractice Cases” need I say more. The new law basically states that the presiding judge over a medical malpractice case must refer the case to mediation. Most of the world might say – DUH!  But some critics feel that the mandatory mediation will lead to few cases being resolved.  Connecticut, please do not let a few negative ninny’s discourage you. Remember the Newsweek article from 1995 about how the internet would fail… The Internet? Bah!

Tribune Co.’s Chapter 11 Case – Is Mediation the Answer?

Is Judge Kevin Gross a mountain climber?  We will see in the case of Tribune Company’s Chapter 11 case.  Two years of going back and forth and $180 million in professional fees.  Ouch!  Mediation may not be the end of this legal matter, but it is refreshing to see them taking a step back and trying a different appoach.  Most observers are giving Judge Gross slim odds for success!  I say, just take it one step at a time.

Tribune Bankruptcy gets a Mediator

Mediation for Mel Gibson! Maybe not…

As we all know – mediation is a wonderful thing when everyone walks away happy or at least with a resolution. It looks like Mel got neither in his divorce mediation. TMZ just reported a few details I found interesting. See the link below:

Oksana’s Lawyers: Mel Gibson Mediation Illegal

Plan Ahead: How to Save on Your Divorce

There’s an old divorce joke where, after a spat, the husband suggests a peace offering to his wife.  A ring? A pearl necklace?  None of these were what she had in mind.  When the husband asked what she did have in mind, she replied: a divorce.  The husband refused, stating that he hadn’t planned to pay THAT much.

All kidding aside, divorce can be or become a very expensive process.  Additionally, planning for a life “on your own” requires financial planning.   There are several businesses that specialize in this sort of planning, even before a divorce is ever filed.  However, it is never too late to get your finances in order.

Certified Divorce Financial Planners (CDFP) abound.  You can find many of them through listing services, by clicking here.

One such CFDP is Lisa Dwyer, who has a nice series of resources for nearly every stage of the game and whose focus is on saving money during divorce.

Divorce is a $28 Billion Industry? Get your share…

Just when you thought that the wedding industry was a racket, many have learned the hard way that their divorce cost more than their wedding – generally, $15,000 to $30,000!  And, yes, it is the attorneys who reap the reward.

Many people do not appreciate the fact that once they retain an attorney (and pay the retainer fee), the legal expenses usually continue if the divorce is contested.  More importantly, a client should understand that if he or she does not pay their attorney, the attorney often will withdraw (or attempt to withdraw) as his or her legal counsel.  When a withdrawal is approved, the client often is out thousands of dollars and has to figure out how to complete the divorce proceedings “on his own.” 

You can almost hear the toilet flush as the client realizes that he or she has spent a lot of money, but is still married.

If mediation had not been broached beforehand, certainly when an attorney withdraws as counsel for lack of payment, it should be.  Mediation can complete the job, and many wish they’d mediated to begin with.

One Mediation’s Separation Program and Divorce Program are designed to help couples save money as they re-evaluate their marriage or terminate it.   This is accomplished through pairing the spouses with mediation coaches who help each spouse prepare for the mediation.  This focus on preparation makes the need for legal representation at mediation optional.      

Find out more about cheaper alternatives, like mediation, to divorce litigation in this Forbes Magazine article:

Ten Keys to a Truly Cheap Divorce

Divorce and Children’s Books

Many parents will cram for their divorce by going to a local bookstore or library to read everything that they can find on the topic.  There are manuals, guides, checklists.  There are books on how to plan for divorce, how to get a divorce, and how to recover from a divorce. 

There also are books for children whose parents are divorcing or have finalized the divorce.  Attorney Ronne Kaplan includes a list of books for adults and for children that relate to divorce.  Give thought to whether a child involved with divorce might also appreciate a book or two regarding divorce.  Books can help assure a child that what he or she is experiencing is legitimate and that he or she is not alone.  What a gift that is.