Most people don’t have piles of money to burn, especially when they are getting divorced!
There is a cost to getting divorced—emotional cost and financial cost, to name a couple. One reason to mediate is that it costs less, a lot less. As the saying goes, “Send your own kids to college, instead of your attorney’s kids!”
Boston Law Collaborative analyzed 199 of its divorce cases and found that for most cases mediation, collaborative law, and litigation were all avenues that produced settlements. However, mediation was considerably less expensive than the other options. The average cost for their mediation cases was $6,600 compared to $19,723 for a collaborative divorce, $26,830 for settlements negotiated by adversary lawyers, and $77,746 for full-blown litigation. See “More Couples Seeking Kinder, Gentler Divorces.”
OK—so cost isn’t everything. But cost is not the only reason to use mediation.
One major reason is the level of satisfaction in the outcome. Divorcing couples are usually incredibly frustrated with the traditional litigation process and extremely dissatisfied with the outcome. They feel disempowered, stressed, and financially strained, but to top it off, they pay a lot of money for something that does not even begin to address their needs and the outcome ends up being unsatisfactory to both parties! On the other hand, of all the processes available, mediation gives people the most choice and the most control. In other words, most people get the best outcome for their buck by using mediation. Mediation may seem a bit challenging. However, if you could possibly save over $70,000, or save over $20,000, or even save $13,000 and get a better result, isn’t mediation something worth exploring?