There is a joke out there that scientists are beginning to use lawyers in place of lab rats for their experiments. Apparently, the scientists were becoming too attached to the rats and there are some things that even rats will not do.
Is this cynical? Perhaps. But there is also an element of truth when it comes to lawyers and divorce. During a divorce, your emotions are on high alert and you may not be thinking clearly. This lack of focus for the lawyer’s clients is like blood in the water for sharks.
If you can put your emotions aside for just one moment, you and your spouse will realize that mediation is a much better option then going through lawyers and the courts.
IMPORTANT POINT – You do not need the courts to decide the division of marital assets, child support and spousal support during a divorce. You only need the courts to make the entire process official and final. If both parties in the marriage can present a self-negotiated settlement to the courts, the courts are perfectly agreeable to this option. This is why it is so important to do most of the groundwork prior to showing up in court.
If you attempt to negotiate a settlement through your respective lawyers, you will end up spending much more money then you really need to.
Imagine this scenario – lawyer A sends lawyer B a letter outlining their clients position on any particular issue. Lawyer B receives the documents from lawyer A and then issues their own document back to lawyer A acknowledging receipt of documents from lawyer A. Lawyer A then sends a quick note back to lawyer B acknowledging receipt of the receipt of the documents. If you listen carefully, you can here the lawyers laughing silently as they calculate exactly how many payments they can make on their high-end luxury car on your back.
As ridiculous as this sounds, I’m embarrassed to admit this has actually happened to me. It is maddening to know thousands of dollars were spent unnecessarily because two parties could not come to their own solution. If you let your emotions run wild, the lawyers will capitalize on this weakness and start charging you hundreds of dollars for an administrative tug of war.
I realize it is not fair to stereotype an entire profession or group of individuals but if lawyers really had their clients best interests at heart they would send their clients a letter that says – negotiate a settlement yourselves or we will charge you a bucket load of money for your stupidity.
There are other options available if you and your partner are unable to negotiate an agreement yourselves. Mediation is a viable option that can get the job done and save both parties a great deal of money. In the end, long after the divorce has been finalized and the emotions have subsided, both parties will be grateful they used mediation.
Like all things in life, choose a mediator wisely. Not all mediators are competent and effective. If you can find a mediator that both parties agree on, you are well on your way to dissolving your marriage.
Gary Kelly is co-creator of the online dating website for golfers, DateAGolfer.com and PuttingForPar.com . DateAGolfer.com is an online dating website for golfers who are interested in expanding their golf network. Join us in Myrtle Beach in September for the world's first international singles golf tournament. PuttingForPar.com is a golf website specializing in high quality personalized ball markers. They make a great gift idea for golfers in your life.