MEDIATION - THE WAY TO SAVE ON THE COST OF DIVORCE
Joan G. Geiger
In general, the public has long been dissatisfied with the traditional litigation process of divorce. How much has the "winner" in a divorce really won after taking into account the cost of litigation and more importantly the years of lost time and energy? Revenge may be sweet but getting on with one's life is even sweeter. Fortunately, there is now a happy and less expensive alternative - mediation. Ultimately, at least 96% of all divorce cases in the State of New Jersey settle. That means that in 96% of the cases, it is no longer a question of if the matter will settle, rather, it is a matter of when it will settle. Mediation generally takes anywhere from several weeks to six months, an extremely short period of time compared to litigation which often takes years. Mediation often saves thousands of dollars and in many cases tens of thousands of dollars. While it is very difficult to put aside one's anger and compromise, the satisfaction of revenge that one so dearly seeks in a divorce is fleeting. The peace, that one attains from resolving the conflict quickly, inexpensively and fairly lasts a lifetime. Most importantly, there are countless benefits to children. Where parents successfully mediate the children are spared much of the unnecessary anguish of the divorce. Mediation costs approximately $180.00 - $250.00 an hour and mediators rarely charge retainers, while attorneys almost always do. Because the process is so much quicker and you and your spouse are paying for one professional versus two to resolve the same issues, the savings are incredible. This is regardless of whether you and your spouse consult with your own independent counsel. Indeed, mediation generally works extremely well when both parties have consulted with reasonable, fair minded, competent attorneys. So if you are headed for divorce, try mediation. It may be the best dollars you ever spend!
Joan G. Geiger is an accredited member of the New Jersey Association
of Professional Mediators and has been mediating for approximately 7
years. After practicing family law for 15 years, she followed her
calling to become a full time mediator and co-founder of WIN*WIN
MEDIATION, L.L.C., with locations in Somerset, Middlesex and Hunterdon
counties, New Jersey.