The No-Court Divorce
Mediation is a settlement process where individuals utilize an independent, neutral person to aid them in resolving their dispute, issue, or problems. The individual who intervenes in order to help the parties settle their dispute is called a mediator. Good mediators are caring, empathetic, supportive, and highly trained experts in settling conflict.
Divorce mediation is an active, non-adversarial process in which a neutral mediator helps couples privately identify and resolve divorce related issues that conventionally would be resolved in Court, which is adversarial and quite expensive.
Through mediation, the participants, not the Court, maintain control over the outcome of their case. You can choose your mediator, but you cannot choose your judge. Do you really want a stranger making critical decisions about the most personal and intimate aspects of your life? Wouldn’t utilizing a lower-cost, more effective approach where you maintain control over such important decisions be a better choice?
With mediation, you can complete your divorce:
- Less Expensively
- More Amicably
- More Peacefully
- With Minimal Stress to You & Your Children
Choosing to mediate (and not litigate), to resolve issues typically saves families many thousands of dollars, preserves and even helps rebuild long-lasting family relationships, and protects children from the animosity that’s inherent in the adversarial nature of a litigated divorce. For all these reasons, and many more, mediation is less stressful for you, your children, and your family.
For families looking for an affordable alternative to going to court, Conscious Divorce offers a Flat-Fee Divorce Mediation Package.
How does mediation work?
Mediation is designed to encourage each party to express their interests and concerns, assess unresolved issues, facilitate a dialogue over options for addressing all interests, and reach a balanced, harmonious settlement in a neutral, supportive environment.
The mediator guides and facilitates the participants through difficult conversations with the goal of helping them reach mutual agreement on all aspects of their divorce. Mediators may be attorneys or non-attorneys. Both spouses/parties meet with the mediator at the same time.
An effective mediator helps balance power between the participants and creates a safe, supportive environment for both parties to fully and authentically express their perspectives and interests. Fair, reasonable, and sustainable solutions can only be reached if both parties are able to communicate their underlying interests, which in turn allows the mediator to help piece together a harmonious agreement.
Additionally, a well-trained and experienced divorce mediator provides substantive information and guidance regarding legal issues and court procedures.
What issues are covered in divorce mediation?
- Child Custody and Co-Parenting Plans
- Child Support
- Spousal Support (Alimony)
- Division of Marital Assets and Liabilities
- Expert Fees and Court Cost Allocation
- Any other issues deemed important and relevant
Do parties need to hire their own attorney?
Parties may choose to obtain legal, financial, and other professional advice at any time during the mediation process. All parties are encouraged to obtain a review of the final settlement agreement by independent legal counsel prior to signing the agreement. If both parties agree, attorneys may attend the mediation sessions to advise and counsel their clients, but this is generally a more expensive option (but still much cheaper than litigation).
However, keep in mind that hiring an attorney to represent you can be very expensive, particularly if they are not settlement-oriented. It’s typically much more cost-effective to utilize consulting attorneys to help guide and advise you through the process, as opposed to having them represent you and “take your case” out of your control.
Mediation is considered an economical process of dissolution, since both parties often share the expense of one mediator and then retain consulting attorneys for review or advice on a limited basis.
How much does mediation cost?
Legal fees can be scary and raise lots of questions. How much will a divorce cost? Well, it depends on how complicated your issues are and how emotional it gets… and how willing you are to make compromises.
Divorce mediation costs a very small fraction of what it would otherwise cost to have your matter litigated in court with attorneys. The average cost of mediation is between $3,000 and $7,000 per couple, including all document preparation and filing to bring the case to conclusion. Compare that to the cost of $40,000 per spouse for an average litigated divorce in California, but that’s only because the average couple has no more than that to spend. If you have more, it will probably cost more, much more.
Do you really want to spend your children’s college education account, your vacation money, and the equity in your home on your divorce? Consider divorce mediation or custody mediation as a much lower-cost, lower-stress alternative to litigation.