You’ve decided that you want a divorce.
The next step is to decide on a method to dissolve the marriage.
Ask Yourself: What Do You Want?
If you are looking to ‘stick it to your spouse’, most couples just “lawyer up”, and let the attorneys fight it out. It is safe to say that the only true ‘winners’ in such battles… are the attorneys. The average divorce costs over $15,000.00 – per spouse – and often causes lifelong strife for all those involved.
You Control the Outcome and Cost
For those seeking to find a quicker, gentler and much more cost-effective divorce, you can choose to hire a neutral divorce mediator. A mediator can help you come to an agreement that everyone can agree to. Even if you feel that you and your spouse are so angry and polarized that you all you do is fight, a skilled mediator can help you come to a mutually acceptable agreement.
If you are able to find a mediator who offers their services for a flat fee (instead of a percentage of the settlement), you both can walk into the settlement knowing exactly how much it will cost. You will also likely save THOUSANDS of dollars and several months throughout the process.
Mediation is a confidential process that takes place out of court. The mediator stays neutral and is completely separated from the outcome.
Better yet, if you work with a financial divorce expert, like a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst who is also a trained mediator, he or she can educate you about the financial and tax impacts of your divorce and also model various “what if” scenarios.
The financial mediator can help level out the playing field by explaining (again, to both equally) the current family finances and how each asset works. In this way, both parties have complete information to work with before you make your final decision.
Sometimes it’s necessary to seek legal advice. Typically, conflict in divorce has a lot to do with money or parenting, or both. If you feel grossly disadvantaged in your present situation, you should consult with an attorney, at least initially, to understand your rights during the process.
Preparing for Divorce – Free e-Book The Bedroom Elephant: A Guide to Successful Divorce