Recently, the Daily News (January 19, 2006) ran the result of a study conducted by Ohio State University regarding the cost of divorce. The article set forth the findings that parties marrying and staying married accumulate nearly twice as much personal wealth as a person who stays single or gets divorced. This study quantified and put statistics to the common understanding that most individuals knew about divorce already. The savings and investments that have been built up over a number of years from one income or even two can take a great hit when you know you have to divide everything. The lifestyle that was maintained in one household is generally not the same after a dissolution. What used to support one household now ends up going to support two households in some form or fashion and there simply is not enough to go around. This study did not even address the emotional cost of going through with the dissolution, nor did it consider the cost of an attorney. So what is one to do?
You have come to the conclusion that dissolution is, unfortunately, the only way in which you must proceed, but you don’t want to throw good money after bad and more emotional turmoil on top of already sensitive feelings. Mediation may be your answer. A large cost of dissolution is the fact that emotions are involved. Generally, far too often the “I’ll teach you” mentality takes over. What ends up happening is that if one party operates on emotions without concern for their financial well being, the other party generally then must, at least at a minimum, stand their ground and play defense – which can be equally as expensive in attorney fees and the downward spiral begins.
Generally, in mediation the focus changes from punitive to creative. Each party plays a factor in the decisions. Each party has their voice heard. Mediations generally do not allow for emotions to dictate the course, but instead emotions are the source for a workable solution. While there are certain cases that must be litigated, there are a large number of cases that should be mediated. The upshot: Families save or at least limit the cost of divorce both financially and emotionally.