Saturday, June 7, 2008

Divorce Mediation Trumps Divorce Litigation

The Wall Street Journal celebrates the advantages of mediated divorces over litigated divorces, especially when children are involved, citing several notable studies:
Constance Ahrons's 20-year look at 173 children from 98 divorced families showed
that when divorced parents were able to maintain a civil and at least minimally
cooperative relationship with each other, the children experienced no long-term
problems associated with the divorce. But when parents remained in conflict or
totally disengaged from each other, their children continued to be distressed
even 20 years later.

And this:
In a 12-year follow-up of couples randomly assigned to either mediation or litigated divorce little as five to six hours of mediation had powerful long-term effects. Parents who took part in mediation settled their disputes in half the time of parents who used litigation, and they were much more likely, even 12 years later, to jointly discuss children's discipline, moral training, school performance and vacation plans. Nonresidential parents with mediated divorces maintained much more contact with their children than those who had litigated.

Dollars and sense:
The average cost of a mediated divorce is less than $7,000 ... and about $78,000 for a fully litigated divorce.

And it's not just the financial toll. When a parent maximizes his or her emotional position by undermining a child's respect for the other parent, this "victory" carries long-term costs.

Researcher Paul Amato notes that children who report being put in the middle of their parents' problems are less likely to be close to either parent as they age.

Cooperative divorces deny clients the short-range satisfaction of "beating" their exes, and they deprive attorneys of a lucrative source of income. But the benefits clearly outweigh these costs.


James J. Gross said...

Anybody who spends their days in court, like I do as a divorce lawyer, would always choose mediation over litigation. http:///

Contributing Author said...

I only recently became aware of the mediation option through a friend of mine who is a divorce attorney in Scottsdale. Frankly, from a layman's point of view there's really no reason that anybody should do a litigated divorce anymore. Civil courts should mandate that mediation be tried before hearing anyone's specific case, I think.

Alan said...

I agree, mediation is almost always preferable to a drawn out court case. But sometime spouses can't agree on how assets are to be divided and decide to lawyer up.


Mac said...

Increasingly couples are turning to divorce mediation as a realistic and healthier alternative. A couple meets with a mediator to hammer out an agreement covering all the terms of their divorce, including finances and child custody.

Divorce Mediation Patchogue, NY

Mark Martin said...

Hey there! Thank you for sharing your thoughts about divorce mediator in your area. I am glad to stop by your site and know more about divorce mediator. Keep it up! This is a good read. I will be looking forward to visit your page again and for your other posts as well.
Mediation is applicable to disputes in Prenuptial/Premarital agreements.
The compassionate and experienced divorce lawyers at Robert E. Hornberger, PC, Attorneys and Counselors at Law have helped many couples like you successfully resolve their divorce through mediation, rather than expensive and stressful litigation. We also regularly and successfully represent couples in all types of divorce proceedings from Contested and Uncontested Divorce, No Fault Divorce, Collaborative Divorce, Child Support and Custody cases and all types of Family Law.

divorce mediator nassau county, ny

Jannah Delfin said...

Great post. I hope you can write more good stuff like this article.

Divorce mediation Long Island

Layne Adams said...

Hi there this is such an impormative post. Thank you for sharing. Cheers!

- The divorce mediator nassau county, ny