Why Aren’t Divorces Cheap?

images (19)The first thing I hear from most clients when they walk through the door is “How did this all get so expensive” or “I need a cheap divorce.” And my response is “Family law disputes don’t have to be expensive!”


A Divorce can become expensive for two reasons:

1. Emotions Get Out of Control.

Conflict is hard on the entire family; men, women and children alike. Despite the emotional upheavals, clients must not make impulsive decisions! You must stay focused on resolving conflict! A skilled family law attorney-mediator can help.

Under normal circumstances, parents think and act rationally. But under the stress of a high conflict dispute, like divorce, even the most well-meaning person can struggle to make smart decisions. Divorce becomes expensive when human emotions get out of control. In every divorce, each spouse must make a critical decision: either strike out angrily at the other person or manage emotions to pursue long-term benefits. Fear of loss, anger, betrayal, and jealousy can cause a person to lash out. An experienced attorney-mediator is needed in these situations to keep negotiations from breaking down and costs from spiraling out of control.

This does not mean that a person should completely suppress all of their feelings. But, a person who wants to obtain a “cheap divorce” must resist the urge to go on the attack or to shut down negotiations completely. Choosing to be “in control” rather than “out of control” is the most important choice made by clients who want a “cheap divorce.”

It is unrealistic to expect most divorcing couples to handle the extreme emotions involved in negotiating a divorce on their own. There are too many opportunities during divorce negotiations for distractions, too many strong emotions, and too many legal complexities to do it all by yourself. It is your attorney-mediators job to help keep a flexible, realistic perspective for you regardless of who created the conflict …or why. We can help!

2. Bad Divorce Negotiations

Couple sitting together looking tense

About half of all divorce agreements fail; forcing the couple back to their lawyers or court. These repeated efforts to resolve important issues get very expensive!
So…why do so many parenting plan agreements breakdown?
The number one (#1) reason divorce agreements break down is because most divorce lawyers are trained to be advocates and adversaries by their law schools. Lawyers are taught in law school to be concerned with “procedural requirements” not “people requirements.” I have seen lawyers, young and old, spend thousands of dollars of their client’s money enforcing legal procedures intended to discover hidden assets when in fact the value of that hidden asset would not cover the lawyers’ fees spent in court. Many zealous divorce lawyers justify spending thousands of their client’s dollars to enforce minor procedural issues. Often a waste of money!
Moreover, most divorce lawyers are trained to approach each case as if it is a “fight to the death.” They assume from the beginning that every divorce will go to trial. It is what lawyers are trained to do. But most divorce lawyers have had little or no formal training in human emotions, child development, or highly emotional situations. So…what most of these divorce attorneys do when faced with their client’s emotional distress is to dig deeper into the legal procedures and legal rules to avoid dealing with the very real human emotions that are integral in every divorce.
Understand, most parents deeply fear “going to court.” The anxiety that is created by the uncertainty and confronting nature of a court hearing forces many people to make agreements merely to avoid “going to court.” These settlements – often thrown together at the last minute – are also often very convoluted and vague; making them unworkable.

Our practice is different. We are experienced and trained to handle highly emotional people, to collaborate with difficult parents, and to settle disputes maintaining a “win-win” mentality. It is what we do best!