The first thing I hear from most clients when they walk through the door is “I do not know how I will be able to afford a divorce” or “I need a cheap divorce.” And my response is “They don’t have to be expensive!”
A Divorce can become expensive for two reasons:
1. Emotions Get Out of Control.
Family 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 matters! 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 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 divorce negotiations from breaking down and costs from getting 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 lash out. Choosing to be “in control” rather than “out of control” is the most important choice made by a client who wants 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-mediator’s 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
About half of all divorce agreements fail forcing the couple back to their lawyers or to court. These repeated efforts to resolve important issues get very expensive! So…why do so many 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 hidden asset is not worth half the money needed to cover the lawyers fees spent in court. Many zealous divorce lawyers justify spending hundreds of dollars of their client’s money 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 development, child development, or human relations and emotional reaction. So…what most divorce attorneys do when faced with their client’s emotional issues is to dig deeper into legal procedure and legal rules to avoid dealing with the very real human emotions that are integral to every divorce case.
Also understand…most normal people are deeply in fear of “going to court.” The anxiety that is created by the uncertainty and confrontive nature of a court hearing forces many people to agree to agreements merely to avoid the “fight or flight” messages being sent to them by their brains as the trial date approaches. These thrown together at the last minute agreements – sometimes literally at the steps of the courthouse – are often so convoluted or vague that they are unworkable.
Our law firm is different. We are experienced and trained to handle highly emotional people, to collaborate with our opponents and to settle disputes with a win-win mentality. It is what we do!