Why does divorce litigation cost so much? How can divorce mediation help?
As I sit her today going over exhibits and monitoring the progress of the exhibit books taking shape I am reminded, once again, of one of the many reasons why divorce litigation is so expensive.
The probate and family courts are inundated with controversies that too few judges are tasked to resolve. Presenting to the court for a motion hearing can typically takes hours. First the attorney waits in line to check in with the clerk. Then, the case may be referred to the probation department for intervention, which requires waiting in another line, and additional paperwork. Then you wait for a probation officer, or family services officer in family court, to pick up and review your case file. Then there is a meeting between and among the probation officer, counsel, and parties. And, if there is no agreement, you may then go into the courtroom and wait to be called and be heard. And that's just on a motion hearing.
Pretrial conference preparation is detailed. A comprehensive memorandum is supposed to be drafted for the court. Prior to the conference, the parties must meet in a four-way conference.
Between the time of filing of the complaint and the four-way conference may come discovery, including interrogatories, document requests and depositions.
After the pretrial conference a trial date may be set, or you may be scheduled for a status conference date, or both.
Then there comes trial preparation. It is detailed. Documents have to to obtained and organized, exhibit book prepared, questioning of the witnesses determined and analyzed.
Virtually every court appearance requires an updated financial statement from both parties.
This is why litigation becomes so very expensive. Don't get me wrong, some cases simply must be litigated for a variety of reasons. But going to court must be one of the least efficient ways of resolving conflict.
In many cases, in fact I believe in most divorce cases, divorce mediation can work through a full agreement. Mediation is scheduled at a place and time convenient for you. There are no lines, no waiting. And the process is private and confidential. You need not air your grievances to the world.
Divorce mediation can save you money.
My office is located in Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts and I provide both divorce representation and divorce mediation services.
If you would like to schedule a consultation, please contact my office at 978-877-5159.