Divorce is unquestionably among the most unpleasant experiences a person can go through. Part of the difficulty comes from the emotional toll that a divorce can impose upon people. Separating from someone to whom you were formerly committed can be devastating. Furthermore, divorce also typically imposes a stiff financial burden on the people involved. If the divorcing couple chooses to resolve the matter in court, the costs can quickly become astronomical.
Those contemplating divorce in Connecticut need to be aware of the potential benefits offered by mediation as opposed to litigation in court. In this post, we will go over some of the basics of mediation in Connecticut.
Mediation is an Alternative to Litigation
A mediation is a way to develop the agreements necessary to complete a formal divorce outside of the usual court system. In other words, it is distinct from the traditional court-based litigation which most people associate with divorce. In a mediation, both parties of the divorce will procure a mediator to act as a representative during the mediation process. Mediators are often attorneys, but non-attorney mediators are also common. The mediators will act as a conduit between the parties so that direct negotiation doesn’t have to take place. Given the emotions involved in divorce, this is often a necessity, and a major benefit of mediation.
Mediation will resolve all aspects of a divorce: property division, child support, alimony, division of retirement assets, and so forth. If the mediation is successful, you may not need to go to court at all.
The Finances of Mediation in Connecticut
Mediation can be a very cost-effective means to complete your divorce. In some cases, the financial comparison with a traditional court-based divorce can be extremely favorable. If you decide to take your case to a traditional litigation divorce attorney, you can expect to pay a retainer of $5,000 to $10,000 for a contested divorce. If the case is highly complex – that is, if it involves complicated child custody issues, property division, etc. – then the retainer could be substantially more. If you consider the hourly rates of most Connecticut divorce attorneys, your total cost can quickly become very high if you have a complicated situation.
By comparison, in most mediations, the total cost for both parties is usually less than the cost for one retainer fee for one of the parties. The average cost for a mediation is between $2,000 and $5,000. Most mediations can be resolved in 3 to 5 sessions which occur over the course of a few months. More complicated mediations can last for as long as 6 months, which is much quicker than most litigation cases, and so the emotional toll of a mediation is considerably lighter.
Mediation is Both Enforceable & Confidential
Those who are unfamiliar with mediation may wonder: are the agreements reached in mediation enforceable by courts? And, are the negotiations, and any other materials, used during the mediation confidential? The answer to both of these questions is “yes.” Once you reach an agreement via mediation, and both parties sign a separation agreement, that agreement is legally binding because it becomes an order of the court. In essence, you are asking the court to adopt your separation agreement as its order. Hence, mediation has achieved the same result as litigation, although typically at a much lower cost because the goal of mediation is to come to an agreement as opposed to fighting over things that may or may not matter. What’s more, any material used during the mediation process remain confidential.
Contact Apex Law Firm for More Information
Mediation can be a very effective method to effect a separation in the State of Connecticut. If you are thinking about a divorce – painful though it may be – you should consider using mediation as an alternative to traditional litigation. If you’d like to learn more, please reach out to Apex Law Firm today for additional information. Call us at 860-900-0900.
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