Even though many consider mediation a more relaxed and informal way of resolving a conflict, one that could otherwise be litigated, that notion is a little fuzzy. People who use mediation as a tool for alternative dispute resolution (ADR) find many advantages to those who “lawyer up” and battle their divorce out in court.
One way that mediation is always better than litigation is the lower cost. In every case, it is simply less costly to pay for a mediated settlement than it is to pay for a litigated result. Never have I seen a case where litigation was less expensive than mediation.
Let’s take for example one set of “facts” and cost compare:
A couple who have been married for eighteen years, two minor children, the marital home, two vehicles, retirement accounts for husband and wife, a significant inheritance coming from the wife’s side, one boat, and a small plot of lakefront property out of state.
Presume that the parties are amenable to a fair and reasonable settlement in a timely fashion.
If the parties choose to litigate the matter, they are likely to spend between $25,000.00 and $30,000.00. That figures two lawyers each working for between 30 and 40 hours on the matter and coming to a negotiated settlement well before a trial. Keep in mind that the lawyers’ billable time included the hours sitting in the hallway of the courthouse waiting for the case to be called. In the event that the parties cannot come to a settlement, that $25,000.00 to $30,000.00, pre-trial estimate increases. Exponentially.
If instead, the parties were to choose to mediate the matter, they are likely to spend between $3,500.00 and $5,500.00. If you decide to work with Holistic Mediation, you’ll get the benefit of working through your objectives and goals in six and ten sessions, and all of the costs to draft the requisite paperwork for the court will cost far less than litigating.
When it comes to cost, a mediated agreement is better than a litigated result 100% of the time. And I believe at Holistic Mediation that you should keep as much of your own money as possible 100% of the time.
Please contact me to see if mediation is worthwhile for you: Jenna Brownson, Esq. at 978.760.0482.