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An Affordable Divorce through Mediation

Jim Robenalt Jan. 5, 2024

I was very happy to see the recent NYT’s article – “Can Divorce be Affordable? Yes, but Only if Spouses Want It to Be.” It succinctly makes the case for why I serve as a divorce mediator. Divorce is an emotional trauma for any couple. The last thing divorcing families need is to layer on costly litigation.  A few points raised in this article bear repeating: 

A litigated divorce can be very expensive. 

The National Association of Divorce Professionals estimates that the “average cost of a divorce is $15,000 to $20,000, but contested divorces can be far more expensive. Disagreements over issues like child custody may take years to resolve and can push costs well over $100,000.”   

The divorce litigation model can prey on the vulnerable.

People often enter divorce litigation in their lowest and most vulnerable state. As one lawyer advised: “You’re making the biggest legal and financial decisions of your life in the middle of the worst moment.” It is in this cloud of anxiety and hurt that profits are made. “The family court system loves a divorce. That’s how they make their money, off the rage and bitterness.”  

Mediation can reduce the “stress and expense of ending a marriage.”

Mediation is a collaborative process where a couple works together to achieve a fair and equitable outcome that works for both. It requires good faith in which participants come to the table from a place of respect. “The main benefit” of mediation is that the “couple has full control of the process and can take the time they need.”  

Mediation is far more affordable than a contested divorce.

 As one mediation participant – who successfully navigated an affordable divorce – explained: “before you go down the rabbit hole of rage and revenge, think where you want your money to go.”  

When making the difficult decision of how best to navigate a divorce, it is always worth considering how mediation might be used to arrive at a fair resolution.