Collaborative Divorce Costs

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A divorce is not only a painful situation in the life of an individual but also a financial setback that can last for a long time. A dissolution of marriage can deprive a person of his financial and mental stability. Many people manage to avoid the increasing costs of divorce by trying similar alternatives. Collaborative divorce is such an alternative. Here is an approximate estimate of collaborative divorce costs and aspects related to it.

A divorce procedure comprises of various factors such as court fees, fees paid to attorneys, the expenses for service of the documents, etc. The cost of divorce can go up to any extent depending on the duration of the case and type of divorce.

In June 2008, the average approximate costs of the following routes were stated as below.

  • Mediated Divorce: less than 7,000 USD
  • Collaborative Divorce: less than 20,000 USD
  • Divorce negotiated by rival lawyers: up to 27,000 USD
  • A nasty, litigated case: about 78,000 USD

Points regarding Collaborative Divorce Costs

Collaborative divorce is carried out by a simple method of discussion. The court procedures are kept aside during a collaborative divorce divorce process. The estimated expenses in collaborative divorce are related to following things:

  • Every divorce professional levies hourly rates. In addition to this, the professional may charge individual retainers. These professionals are inclusive of two lawyers, two coaches, one financial specialist and one child specialist
  • No court fees for discovery demands or serving motions
  • At the end of the process, the lawyers file their appearance in the court and pay the court fee
  • The couple has to enter into a participation agreement after the appeal for a divorce. Thus the costs for appeals and disclosures with divorce forms is saved

Why the Cost for Collaborative Divorce is more than mediation?

It is observed that a mediation process is less expensive than a collaborative process. The reasons for the same are:

  • Mediation is a three way communication and thus involves less number of professionals as compared to collaborative divorce
  • Several mediators direct their clients to some select lawyers or other professionals and these are ready to play the role of mediation consultants. For this service, they charge an hourly rate
  • The mediators draft and complete the settlement agreements. Every client determines if this agreement may be reviewed by a lawyer, thus resulting in a possibility of saving money
  • The mediation process does not involve the participation of support staff like divorce coaches, child specialists and other experts. The settlement is reached after a discussion within three parties only

Cost effective measures in Collaborative Divorce

  • If the children want to make some input, it is welcomed. The present and future requirements of the children are taken into account while crafting parenting plan and determining other child related issues
  • Issues that prop up in the post divorce phase can be dealt with, in the absence of any future expenditures
  • There is a mutual agreement between the divorcing partners regarding a complete and realistic settlement. The benefit of crafting a settlement together is, the chances for a favorable deal increase for both partners
  • The legal procedures are highly simplified. There is no requirement to make court appearances, waiting for responses and hearing schedules. Thus, a lot of time is saved because of the flexible timings of the meeting
  • All the essential information is exchanged voluntarily. If the partners co-operates by providing true and clear information, the discussion will immediately get a proper direction
  • The present condition of the couple is stabilized by developing temporary agreements

Collaborative Divorce Expenditures Vs Litigation Expenses

  • In a litigation, one has to make repeated court appearances and this requires considerable amount of money. Also, it increases the time period which directly affects the cost of divorce
  • In order to attend the court, one has to stay away from work or other responsibilities and due to this there is loss of money. Many people lose their professional career and suffer a setback for a stable growth because of divorce
  • The expenditure for filing in the court is considerably decreased
  • The expenses for counter petitions, interrogatories, formal discovery and depositions is eliminated
  • The partner has to pay unnecessarily more if the opposite party continues to file litigations even after the court decision. The process of divorce is not controlled by the parties. Therefore, there is no limit over the expenses till the final conclusion is reached. But, in collaborative divorce, there is no such occurrence

Collaborative divorce thus has many benefits. The collaborative divorce costs although higher than mediation, it is less time consuming. However, a person opting for this kind of divorce might end up paying less when compared to the charges a person incur on a divorce litigation that goes on for ages.

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