When people are considering divorce, fear immediately sets in. They begin to think “I have never been through divorce before … what will happen to my assets?” For people who choose to go to court for their divorce, there are legitimate concerns about what will happen to their assets for a couple reasons. First, the amount of money spent on attorney’s fees is a great unknown. Even though an average retainer fee for a divorce lawyer in orange county is around $5,000 – $15,000, there is no guarantee of what that initial retainer fee will get the client. Many times, that fee is spent at the outset of the divorce proceedings. Second, the parties don’t know what a judge is going to decide. While the law on community property is pretty straight forward in California, there are still some things that have to be correctly proved and argued in court. Then, a judge will decide what will happen to the property and ultimately who will receive it.
In addition to these concerns, litigation is a very time consuming and emotionally draining process leaving many people broke both financially and emotionally at the end. Divorce mediation, however, is a predictable and cost effective alternative to a litigated divorce. In divorce mediation, the couple sits down with a trained attorney-mediator and makes a full disclosure of all of their assets, debts, income and expenses. Once that disclosure is completed, the couple has an honest and open conversation with each other about what they feel is fair. The divorce mediator will assist the couple in having a productive and respectful conversation about the financial matters involved in the divorce. The divorce mediator may also give the couple legal information about certain items of property and make suggestions. Ultimately, the couple will make the final decisions about what will happen with their assets. In divorce mediation, these choices will never be left to a judge.
In divorce mediation, you can also weigh factors that a judge would not be able to look at. For example, what if you or your spouse needs some liquidity in order to purchase a new residence for the minor children to live in? If this is the case, maybe you and your spouse can discuss making a trade – one of you takes more cash, and the other takes a different kind of asset. On the other hand, what if one of you needs the stability of the former family residence to make sure the children’s lives and schedules are not disrupted? Here, maybe one spouse can keep the house and trade a retirement or other type of asset. Through the process of divorce mediation, you will be able to consider options you would not have the time or opportunity to look at in court. Another plus is that you know exactly what the divorce mediation process will cost you up front.
At Alternative Divorce Solutions, we will mediate your case for a one-time, flat fee! You will not have to liquidate your assets or your children’s college funds to pay for your divorce. You have worked hard all of your life. You deserve to be able to divorce in a respectful environment that doesn’t put your life savings at risk.