One of the reasons people may choose a non-adversarial approach to divorce is to avoid the expense of traditional divorce litigation. Studies have found that the cost of a no court divorce will typically be about one third the cost of a traditional divorce. The most effective methods of divorce without litigation include collaborative divorce and mediation. Whether you have decided to untie the knot with a collaborative approach or through mediation, here are 8 tips that will help you save both time and money.
1) Hire a trained Mediator or Collaborative attorney. An experienced professional will be able to assist you in coming to a resolution in a more efficient fashion because the professional has experienced similar issues with divorcing couples in the past. Unfortunately, old habits die hard. A lawyer who primarily handles traditional divorce litigation may have a natural tendency to revert to an adversarial approach if collaboration starts to break down. Professionals experienced in these methods of alternative dispute resolution will be committed and trained to achieve an agreement in the best interests of all parties.
2) Educate yourself about the divorce process you have chosen through internet searches, you-tube videos and your local library or bookstore. There is a wealth of information available to you. Understanding the process will help you move as quickly as possible through it. This equates to less expenses for you.
3) Come prepared for each meeting. Do your homework and bring to each session the documents and other information requested by the Mediator or requested during a Four-Way Meeting.
4) Develop a support system to guide you through the difficult emotional periods of the divorce. The support system can be a therapist, a close friend or family member, a support group you join or a combination of any of the above.
5) Write down your questions for your Mediator or attorney ahead of the meeting.
6) Be on time for the meeting and stick to the topic at hand. Divorce is an emotional process and discussions can easily get off on tangents but getting off topic can cost you money. This is another reason a professional experienced in no court divorce is so important. Your attorney or mediator will be trained in strategies that foster respectful and open communication that focuses on problem solving and resolution of the issues.
7) If you have a simple question, call and ask the staff rather than speaking with the Mediator or attorney. Often you are not charged with telephone calls with the professional staff.
8) Start focusing on your future and set goals for yourself. This will help you move in the right direction and not get stuck in the past. This is why a collaborative approach to divorce can be so effective in saving time, money and heartbreak. Collaborative divorce and mediation focus on the future and what is best for everyone. Traditional divorce focuses on the past and what went wrong.
By avoiding litigation with a no court divorce, you will not only save time and money but more importantly you will preserve family relationships. In both Mediation and Collaborative Divorce the children are treated as a priority and all professionals involved work to maintain and support the couple’s ability to co-parent the children after divorce and that is priceless.