Marriage is grand…but divorce is 20 grand!

I just had to borrow this divorce phrase found at several sources…it’s so true!  Divorce is costly! Not that I am making a case for staying married when the relationship doesn’t work, but taking a look at these figures from Divorce360.com is pretty sobering…

Stats on Divorce

  • Most marriages end before the 10-year mark
  • There are many hidden costs to divorce that most people are unaware of
  • The cost of divorce increases with income, assets accumulated, the number of children involved and the duration of marriage
  • Geography makes a big difference in the costs for emotional, financial, legal and real estate help to get through the process
  • According to the 2006 US Census Bureau:  the average American family is married, 2 children, income $50K-$75K, a home worth $185K (in CA, this increases to a home worth $535K).

Here are some aspects to consider when contemplating...

Mediated versus the Litigated Divorce

  • Time is a factor
    • the typical litigated divorce takes from 9 to 24 months
    • the mediation process can be completed within 2 to 4 months
    • The current San Diego Family Court climate
    • July 2005, Money magazine – the average divorce:
      • $3,000-10,000 for a divorce mediation
      • $16,000 for collaborative law
      • $35,000 for traditional attorney to attorney negotiation
      • a minimum of $20,000-$50,000 for trial

In today’s budget-stricken Family Court climate, parties would benefit greatly by “narrowing the issues” by first using mediation, taking only those unresolvable through mediation into litigation.

Some other aspects to consider about mediation

  • Mediation is particularly important when there is an ongoing relationship, i.e. parenting, to be maintained.
  • Mediation also helps address the emotional turmoil and stress associated with ending a relationship – it can serve as part of the healing process,
  • It is important to note that men and women handle divorce differently…mediation can help balance the different stages of transition that each of the parties is facing.
  • Even when mediation is not successful, parties still report a high degree of satisfaction with the process because of how it helps them deal with the emotional stress around the issues being mediated.

Check it out…mediation is the way to go…even in difficult cases.  Keep the money in your pocket for you and your children!

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