Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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Cost of mediation is less than cost of divorce

Massachusetts readers may notice that most divorce news nowadays consists of celebrities or rich people who are divorcing for various reasons. The divorce of these individuals may include a child custody battle, child support disputes and splitting their assets and properties. Because they own numerous properties and businesses that could have a high value, each party prefers to end their marriage through litigation. However, some spouses may believe that divorcing is too expensive until they learn about divorce mediation.

When divorce is brought to the table, Massachusetts residents may think that ending a marriage may require a large sum of money due to attorney fees, court hearings and other expenses. However, spouses should understand that the cost of divorce varies, depending on the spouse's situation and the state.

For couples who want to legally end their marriage but are worried about the expense, they may prefer divorce mediation. Divorce mediation is another type of divorce proceeding that can be more affordable. In a divorce, each spouse usually has an attorney, but with mediation, the couple will work together with a neutral mediator.

The neutral mediator can make progress toward a settlement agreement smooth for both parties. The mediator's role is to help each party communicate effectively through private meetings, rather than a court hearing. The mediator concentrates on how the agreement will benefit both spouses without disregarding their rights. A mediator will work on the settlement until both partners are in agreement.

Divorce mediation aims to obtain a mutual settlement agreement from both parties involved. Aside from affordability when compared with a litigated divorce, the process of mediation may minimize the emotional impact of divorce on the household, particularly the children. This process may also lessen the potential for conflicts to arise after a divorce. On the other hand, if the spouses cannot communicate without arguments and fights, they may prefer a litigated divorce.

Source: The Stir, "Here's how Much a Divorce Really Costs" Aunt Becky, Dec. 11, 2012

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