One unfortunate result of a lengthy litigated divorce is the expense. The couple can end up with nothing, having exhausted their marital estate by constant arguing (and having to pay attorneys fees to do so). There is a way to avoid financial ruin by choosing a better divorce process, such as Mediation or Collaborative Divorce.
Traditional Litigation: How to Argue Away Your Marital Estate
Way too often, spouses hire their lawyers and set out to be the “winner” in the divorce. In reality, there is never a winner. Both spouses along with the children suffer. Some things that quickly consume financial resources are:
- The spouses argue about every issue. They file numerous motions and have multiple court hearings. They ask for court intervention to resolve disagreements, sometimes even petty ones.
- They each hire their own experts to value their property. Sometimes a third expert is called in to evaluate the reports of the first experts who may not agree on the values placed on real estate, investment accounts, businesses, etc.
- The court may order yet another financial expert when the spouses disagree with the recommendations of their own experts, or the experts hired by the parties do not agree on the values.
- The parents argue over allocation of parenting responsibilities and allocation of parenting time. The court may appoint a guardian ad litem for the child(ren) with orders for the spouses to pay for the guardian ad litem. This, of course, adds to the overall expense of the litigation.
Despite all the arguing, the court hearings and payment of experts, the outcome is generally one that neither party is happy about.
Collaborative Divorce or Mediation: Saving Marital Assets
In a Collaborative Divorce, the spouses each hire their own attorneys, but they all agree (spouses and attorneys), not to go to court for resolution of issues. They all agree to help the couple reach a resolution of all divorce issues by looking at and discussing the parties interests and concerns, and helping them reach their own individualized agreement.
They may meet with experts, like financial counselors, divorce coaches, and child counselors, if they need the help of any of those individuals, who guide them on decision-making as needed. They share the cost of these third-party neutral advisors instead of each hiring their own or having the court appoint experts.
The spouses can meet with the experts either with their attorneys present or on their own. When they meet without the attorneys present, which they normally do not do in traditional litigation, the spouses work to resolve the issue without incurring the additional cost of attorney fees. Additionally, by avoiding court hearings, even more money can be saved.
In mediation, the spouses meet with a third-party neutral mediator, who helps the spouses communicate and attempt to reach an agreement as to allocation of parental decision making and parenting time concerning their children. If the parties agree, the mediator can also conduct financial mediation, and can help the parties discuss and reach an agreement concerning the division of their assets and debts as well.
For more information about how to avoid ruining your finances during the divorce process, contact us at Bruckner Hernandez Legal Solutions, LLC, to schedule a consultation or call (630) 888-0017.