Is Mediation Cheaper Than Other Divorce Alternatives?

If you’re contemplating divorce, you have several options about how to proceed. In general terms, you need to consider four broad categories of divorce alternatives: Do-It-Yourself (DIY), Mediation, Collaborative, and Litigation.

There are a lot of factors to weigh when deciding how to end a marriage, your future finances will be one of them and it’s important to understand whether mediation is cheaper than other divorce alternatives. While the divorce mediation services in Calgary may not be cheaper for every couple (as the costs associated with divorce can vary widely based on the circumstances of each case) it can save time outside of the courtroom and away from pricey lawyer negotiations.

All too often, people will find themselves going through the same processes for divorce as everyone else in their social circle is doing. They’ll follow the same path to court as their spouse, they’ll hire the same kind of attorney and they’ll use the same mediation service. The problem with this approach is that there are so many different variables and so many unique situations that it ends up being less about finding the right solution and more about finding any solution at all.

Below, we discuss the different divorce alternatives available and which one is best suited to your individual scenario.

Taking Advantage Of Divorce Mediation Services In Calgary

Divorce is a very difficult process. It’s one of the most stressful events you will ever experience. No amount of preparation can fully prepare you for what is to come. It’s emotionally draining and financially costly. The idea behind divorce alternatives is providing an alternative to litigation in order to make divorce less stressful. One of the most popular options for people considering divorce is mediation.

While divorce mediation is voluntary in most cases, it is highly recommended by countless experts for a number of reasons. The first advantage of choosing this route is obvious: the couple will save money on legal fees. Another advantage is that it will likely be less emotionally and financially draining than a lengthy court battle.

Some of the pros of mediation can be found listed below:

  1. Mediation is preponderantly less expensive than court proceedings;
  2. Mediation is a more confidential procedure than court proceedings;
  3. Mediation allows you to go at your own pace—dealing with one issue at a time rather than having dozens of issues dealt with all at once in court;
  4. Mediation encourages you and your spouse to talk about the conflicts that are causing so much difficulty; and
  5. Mediation allows you to maintain control of the divorce process.

Divorce mediation is a win-win for both parties. The divorce proceedings can be peaceful and reduce costs. Most importantly, you’ll get to control the divorce yourself without an arbitrator dictating your future.

Collaborative Divorces Are Gaining Traction

As the divorce strategies have changed, so have divorce patterns. Collaborative divorce is a relatively new method of resolving marital disputes that recognizes the importance of cooperation between the parties and the absence of hostility or combativeness underlying a no-fault dissolution. Instead, it aims to build goodwill toward a former spouse and resolve the problems that separated them in as fair and amicable a manner as possible.

In a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse will hire attorneys to help negotiate the settlement agreement. You and your spouse come up with all of the terms of your divorce settlement. This process is called “collaborative” because your mutual desire to work together (collaborate) leads both parties to resolve their differences and create a fair settlement for everyone.

Unlike divorce mediation or arbitration in Calgary, disputants in a collaborative divorce agree to a higher level of openness. The parties reveal their sources of income and assets, are honest in their disclosure of assets, and engage cooperatively at every stage of the case. Collaborative divorce is best used in cases that do not involve high inheritances or complicated financial situations. In addition, the parties must be willing to meet the same basic requirements as other forms of mediation.

The Traditional Method Of Divorce Is Litigation

Choosing between a traditional, litigated divorce and an alternative divorce method can be a difficult decision. Before making a choice, it is important to understand the differences between the methods.

If you and your spouse want to dissolve your marriage, but you cannot agree on key issues, and you cannot agree on one or more of the following: child custody (and visitation); child support; marital property division (also known as property settlement); spousal support; and/or whether to have alimony, then a court-appointed official – such as a judge or an arbitrator– will make these key decision on your behalf.

If both you and your spouse decide that taking the legal dispute to court will not be beneficial for either of you, then an out-of-court negotiation is generally the most efficient and cost-effective.

The Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Divorce

In a marriage breakup that is quick and uncontested, the parties could go through the entire divorce process without an attorney. In this case, the divorce could be completed in three months or less and at a much lower cost.

Divorce is one of the most expensive and emotionally draining events that can happen to almost anyone. Splitting your assets, debts, and working out an agreement on child support and custody are just a few important things that must be handled if you are getting a divorce. So why would you want to attempt to drag out this complicated legal process by yourself?

A Divorce is best left to the professionals. However, if you and your spouse are on the same page, have minimal assets, modest income, and no children or ex-spouses to take into consideration, then a DIY approach might be for you.

The Takeaway

Divorce is never easy for anyone involved, but you can make the process easier on you, your family, and your pocketbook, by choosing a divorce alternative that is right for you