1. IT COSTS LESS.
The typical divorce costs upwards of $40,000 in attorneys fees. And if child custody is involved, attorney fees can easily rocket up to $100,000+. A typical retainer fee in Orange County is between $5,000 and $15,000. By the time you and your spouse have each paid the minimum retainer fee of $5,000, you have already exceeded the cost of a typical mediation. Mediation generally costs between $5,000 and $7,000 and that cost is usually shared with your spouse.
2. YOU HAVE CONTROL OVER TIMING
You, not an overburdened court and not your busy attorney, are in control of the timing and pace of the decision making process. Agreements can be reached as quickly or as slowly as you need.
3. YOU HAVE CONTROL OVER DECISIONS AND AGREEMENTS
You and your spouse determine the terms of your marital settlement agreement, not the judge and not attorneys. By using mediation, you can create an agreement that will fit your unique situation.
4. YOU WILL UNDERSTAND YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS.
Unlike the courts and most attorneys, a mediator will have the time to carefully explain all the legal information you’ll need to fully understand your legal rights and obligations and who will work with you to help you make decisions that will work for both of you.
5. MEDIATION IS EASIER ON YOUR CHILDREN.
The most difficult aspect of your divorce is dealing with its impact on your children. They have already likely dealt with the strain and conflict between you and your spouse. The focus of mediation is not the angry court fight. Instead the focus is on reaching a consensual resolution of all issues, including custody and support, in a constructive and non-threatening manner. Your children will cope with your divorce much better if they know that Dad and Mom are working together to make their future life as safe and as near-normal as possible.
6. LESS “EMOTIONAL COST”
The absence of courts and combative attorneys lowers the emotional stress of divorce and makes it easier to work together toward resolution of your important issues, such as child schedules, retirement assets, medical insurance. With a mediator, you and your spouse have the opportunity to resolve many of the personal emotional issues that arise in divorce and that can hinder clear thinking.
7. MEDIATION IS PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL
Everything you and your spouse discuss in mediation is private and confidential. There are no public court hearings where you have to tell your story in front of strangers and where you are subject to cross-examination by an attorney.
8. CO-PARENTING SKILLS ENHANCED
You and your spouse will learn how to co-parent effectively, greatly reducing the stress of divorce on your children.
9. VERY HIGH COMPLIANCE RATE
Because mediation is voluntary and you and your spouse make all decisions, there is a very high “compliance rate” on issues of spousal and child support. Nationwide, the compliance rate for mediated divorces is 80%. In contrast, the compliance rate for litigated divorces is 40%. This means that your agreements are “for real.” Neither you nor your spouse will have to go to court to re-argue an issue that you both have settled by consent.
10. MEDIATION SESSIONS FIT YOUR SCHEDULE AND NEEDS
Instead of having to fit your schedule around that of your busy attorney or the overburdened court, YOU have control over when and for how long you will mediate. After-hours appointments are available by arrangement.