Domestic Diversions

Rush to judgment: how to lower the costs of divorce

Smart Money declares the top 5 divorce mistakes and highlights divorce mediation in the process.

Stacey L. Bradford writes (excerpt):
4. Rushing to Court
The fastest way to run up those hourly attorney fees is to go to court. While a regular divorce costs around $8,000, one that goes to trial can easily run upwards of $20,000, says Emily Doskow, author of “Nolo’s Essential Guide to Divorce.” Unless you have a very complicated divorce, the vast majority of couples are better off reaching a settlement through their lawyers.

Divorce mediation, in which a neutral third party helps a couple negotiate an agreement, is an even cheaper alternative for folks who can still bare to sit at the same table. Doskow estimates it costs about half as much as a contested divorce. But the expense isn’t the only reason she’s a proponent. “I like mediation because it keeps the decision making with the people who are most invested in it,” she says.


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