Thursday, August 13, 2009
An article in the Journal Record today highlights the financial benefits of avoiding a costly divorce by choosing divorce mediation or collaborative law over a litigated divorce. Given the state of our economy, many couples who have decided to divorce are searching for less expensive options which will still result in a fair, complete and enforceable agreement.
This is the link to the full article written by Correy Stephenson. And below is an excerpt from the article:
"Driven by the economy, divorcing couples across the country are increasingly using mediation and the collaborative process – for a fraction of what it costs to litigate a family law case.
For couples who are divorcing and losing some of their assets anyway, cost savings is especially important, said Henry Gornbein, a partner at Gornbein Smith Peskin-Shepherd in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
“Litigation is so expensive and clients want to keep things as cost-effective as possible, without being in and out of court every week,” he said.
Gornbein recently finished mediating a divorce, with a series of meetings and no court appearances, saving the couple “several thousands of dollars” over the cost of litigation.
“I often ask my clients, ‘Do you want to spend your children’s college education (in court) to resolve your problems, or do you want to keep the money for your family’s future?’” Gornbein said.
Although no statistics are available, Howard I. Goldstein, a partner at Rosenberg, Freedman & Goldstein in Newton, Mass., said that anecdotally, collaborative lawyers are much busier these days.
Compared to just a year ago, his firm has doubled the amount of mediation and collaborative law work in family law cases, he estimated.
“It’s really on fire,” Goldstein said.
In many cases nowadays, the parties are dividing debt and not equity, which means they need to spend as little as possible to get the process done, Gornbein said.
Other ways to resolve a divorce are attractive because it is “shocking how expensive litigating a divorce can be,” said Goldstein, who just litigated a case that culminated in a two-day trial and cost his client $150,000 – and the client’s ex-wife paid twice that.