Calculating the average cost of a divorce is a bit like calculating the average price of a house. There is a significant discrepancy, to say the least. Former Today Show host Matt Lauer recently listed his Hamptons estate for $44 million. A small house in an older section of Buffalo will cost a lot, lot less than that. So, the average price of the two means almost nothing.
Therefore, if you ask a Buffalo, MN divorce lawyer a question like “How much does the average divorce cost?”, the only honest answer is “more than you expect.” Marriage dissolution proceedings vary so much that such estimates are basically meaningless.
Additionally, divorce costs more than just money, at least in most cases. Typically, there is a significant emotional price as well. Many people alternate between intense sadness and intense happiness. Additionally, many spouses feel a profound sense of loss. They do not mourn the loss of a spouse as much as they mourn the loss of what might have been.
An experienced Buffalo, MN divorce lawyer knows how to minimize both these costs and put long-term solutions in place for you and your family.
Reducing the Financial Cost of Divorce
Sometimes, attorneys have little or no control over the financial cost of divorce. If the adverse party agrees on most issues, the cost is generally lower. On the opposite end of the scale, if the adverse party bitterly contests every decision, the cost could skyrocket.
Specifically, many spouses try to conceal financial assets from the adverse party. That’s especially true in slow-fade divorces in which both parties anticipate marriage dissolution for several months.
People try lots of different things to hide money. Common schemes include voluntarily increasing wage withholding to make their paychecks look smaller, moving assets to LLCs or other entities, and “transferring” items or accounts to friends or family members. These plans always unravel eventually, but many times, a Buffalo, MN divorce lawyer must work hard to make the house of cards fall.
Other times, however, attorneys have considerable control over divorce cost. Mediation is one of the best ways to reduce legal fees. The Department of Justice estimates that mediation and other alternative dispute resolution options saved litigants about $15 million in 2017.
Generally, it takes less time to prepare for mediation than trial. Mediation usually only lasts a full day or perhaps even a half day. There are no witnesses to question or cross-examine, no legal motions to argue, and no lengthy arguments to present. A trial, on the other hand, could last several days and include all these things.
Furthermore, mediation resolves divorce cases faster than trials. The DOJ also estimated that meditation reduced litigation time by a collective 13,886 days in 2017. Since time is money to clients and Buffalo, MN divorce lawyers, the faster the case is over, the lower the cost will be.
How Buffalo, MN Divorce Lawyers Reduce the Emotional Cost of Divorce
Mediation reduces the emotional cost of divorce as well.
Trials are almost always public record. All the court filings are public, and anyone can attend the proceeding. Especially if marital fault is an issue in the divorce or the property division, such scrutiny can be truly awful.
Mediation, on the other hand, is private. Mediation usually takes place in an office building instead of a courthouse. Furthermore, only the parties know the date, time, and location. The only public document is a brief mediation report, which simply states that the case either settled or did not settle.
Additionally, mediation increases civility. The parties spend most of the time in separate rooms. They only interact with the mediator, who uses shuttle diplomacy to try and facilitate a settlement. On a related note, mediation is also empowering. EWhen future disputes arise, and they always do, the parties often try to talk them out before they rush to hire Buffalo, MN divorce lawyers.
Trials, on the other hand, are emotional showdowns. These events are great theater for TV and movies, but they are often very hard on families.
On a final note, mediation increases control. The parties make important decisions instead of a Wright County family law judge. This added control is especially important if one or both parties have problems accepting authority.
Rely on a Dedicated Attorney
Mediation reduces all divorce costs. For a free consultation with an experienced Buffalo, MN divorce lawyer, contact Carlson & Jones, P.A. We routinely handle matters in Wright County and nearby jurisdictions.