I’ve Heard that Divorce Mediation is Cheaper than an Attorney…Check the Fine Print

Is divorce mediation cheaper than divorce litigation?  There is research and other commentary  that suggests that mediation is cheaper, but the common consumer should be aware of the fine print.

Fine Print One:  Mediation doesn’t guarantee an agreement.  You could pay for mediation and, if no agreement is reached, still have to move forward with litigation.

Fine Print Two:  Mediation works when both parties in divorce are reasonable.  If one or both spouses cannot control their emotions, making the business-decisions of divorce and the self-less decisions of parenthood may simply be impossible.

Fine Print Three:  Mediators will not serve as your attorney.   If you have a legal question, you should ask an attorney and not the mediator.  Many individuals are unaware that you can use an attorney for counseling (short sessions for specific legal information and advice), litigation (to represent you in all aspects of litigation), and for finite projects (to draft a parenting plan, file the uncontested divorce paperwork, represent you at the mediation only, write a will, etc.).  If you arrive at mediation without knowing the legal landscape, you will have arrived unprepared.   If you are trying to undercut or minimize legal fees, then use a lawyer wisely and then you may be able to use mediation wisely, too.





One Response to I’ve Heard that Divorce Mediation is Cheaper than an Attorney…Check the Fine Print

  1. Here in NJ statistics show that literally 99.5% of all cases get resolved before ever seeing the inside of a courtroom so there’s an excellent chance that meditation can work in most cases but as you point out, there will always be that 1/2 of 1% that just can’t seem to work it out. Sad reality is the law is the law and no matter which route you take, mediation or litigation, your settlement is going to look pretty much the same. Your bank account on the other hand, not so much…

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