by Linda L. Piff, Esq.
Divorce litigation can be very expensive. Attorney fees, accountants and other professionals fees,, court costs, taking days off from work to appear for all of the court scheduled events, and the list just goes on and on, while the bills keep piling up. And even when you think it’s over sometimes it isn’t. It isn’t uncommon for parents to return to court over future custody or parenting disputes.
Cost of Divorce
Everyone knows that divorce is costly, but in the heat of conflict when hearts are broken and tempers flared, it isn’t always easy to make rational decisions. But the truth is, the costs of divorce can be much higher than most people even realize. It can go beyond simply dollars and cents.
When there are children involved the emotional toll of an adversarial divorce can linger for a lifetime. I’ve seen it in my own practice. Early in my practice, before we had collaborative divorce and mediation, I witnessed families literally torn apart by contentious divorce proceedings. It was that experience that caused me to look for a better way that doesn’t destroy families and cause harm to your children. Research has indicated that divorce, in and of itself, is not what is so emotionally destructive to children. It is the conflict between the parents that does the most damage. It is not the divorce, but rather the way people divorce that causes so much of the hurt.
Frankly, it is also the way people divorce that creates a financial burden as well. And here is the worst part about about adversarial divorce litigation. When it is all said and done, it is rare that the parties are satisfied with the result. The parties have spent their child’s college funds or their future retirement assets to prove a point that is long forgotten in the process.
What if I told you there was a way to divorce that saves money and also protects the children?
Collaborative divorce is a different way of getting a divorce. It is a process that shifts the focus from who is at fault and making the other pay for their mistakes, to finding mutually acceptable solutions in the interest of all parties. The collaborative process empowers the couple to create solutions that allow them to move on with their lives at a substantially lower overall cost than divorce litigation. In the collaborative divorce, the couple has complete control over the outcome and doesn’t have to put the future of their family in the hands of the court. It is confidential, less costly and avoids court.
Although the couple has control over the divorce process as well as the outcome, unlike a do-it-yourself divorce they are not alone in that process. Each spouse has their own attorney who guides and advises them from start to finish. In addition, they have the benefit of a team of collaboratively trained professionals, if needed, that include financial and mental health professionals.
Before you take the leap into a contentious court battle, consider the financial and emotional costs on your family and your pocketbook and take the time to find out if collaborative divorce may be an better option for you than litigation.