Divorce Without Paying a Lawyer a Lot of Money

The essentials of a divorce are not complex:

1. Identify all property (real, personal, financial) and debts;
2. Characterize all property or debts as separate or community;
3. Establish values for all property;
4. Divide property and debts fairly between the two people;
5. Decide what if any spousal support is appropriate; and
6. (If you have children) Work out a parenting plan and child support.

These essentials can be made very complex. There is a sensible way to become single again, yet protect your interests. That way is mediation.

A mediator can organize ways to identify your property and characterize it. A mediator can help you find mutually agreeable ways to establish values for all your property. No need for each of you to hire a separate forensic accountant and a separate appraiser.

The mediator can make sure you acquire enough information and have enough analysis so you are able to carry on effective negotiation. Maybe you need a divorce financial planner. Maybe you need a consultation with a lawyer. Whatever each party needs in order to have informed consent to an agreement is a constructive step towards the objective – a decent divorce.

You can try a mediation session to see if you like it, or if it will be responsive to your needs. If it doesn’t suit you, you can still opt for the litigated adversary approach later.

But once you cross the line into litigation, you probably will evolve into so much hostility, you can’t get off that plunge into the pit. Family law as practiced in the courts of this state has become quite dysfunctional.

Mediation: try it; you might like it.

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