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Is mediation really less expensive?

Many couples are drawn to divorce mediation as a way to exit their marriage as cheaply as possible. While it is true that divorce mediation can be less expensive than a traditionally litigated divorce, it can only be as economical and efficient as you are willing to let it be. Marriage is essentially a business arrangement in the eyes of the law, and divorces are often more complicated than couples anticipate. No matter what your circumstances may be, you will be best off working together to reach a mutually satisfactory compromise in your divorce settlement.

Dividing up your marital assets and liabilities can be a complicated undertaking, but mediation is able to address any level complexity with proper preparation. If you and your spouse both come to the negotiation table with a willingness to be reasonable, understanding that everyone will give up some things and no divorce is completely free or painless, then there is a good chance that you can have an efficient divorce.

Divorce mediation also saves you potential expenses and headaches by pairing you with an attorney who understands the law as it applies to your divorce. Although you will not need to hire individual attorneys to wage a war over your stuff or children, you will still get professional, impartial guidance through any number of complex legal and financial issues. These areas can be straightforward to navigate or complex and frustrating, depending on the attitude that you and your spouse both bring with you the mediation.

Yes, mediation can be less expensive, but it is also possible that you and your spouse will be unwilling to work together with a mediator to reach a fair compromise. In this scenario, you may waste time and resources pursuing a cheap option. At the very least, you might consider meeting with a mediator to determine if mediation will really be an appropriate option for your divorce.

Source: findlaw, "Divorce Mediation FAQ," accessed March 16, 2017

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