In our last blog, we discussed the crisis in the California courts and how this will mean significant delays and increased costs for those who use the Family Court system to resolve their divorce (we also discussed four specific ways that mediation significantly reduces the time and cost of getting divorced – see our Benefits of Divorce Mediation page for more details). Yet all of this comes at the same time as two other disturbing trends in the family law system:
- Increasing Costs
- Increasing Violence
The cost of litigating a divorce has always been high but with viable alternatives to going to court, such as mediation and collaborative law, it has become all the more obvious that litigating the end of a marriage is not only traumatic for the children, but ridiculously expensive as well. According to an Associated Press article looking at the costs associated with different ways to get divorced “mediation was by far the least expensive option, with a median cost of $6,600, compared to $19,723 for a collaborative divorce, $26,830 for settlements negotiated by rival lawyers, and $77,746 for full-scale litigation.” Check out our Divorce Mediation Fees and Procedures to find out more about our straight-forward approach to the costs associated with divorce.
We are also seeing an increase in violence related to divorce and/or custody battles:
- Earlier this year in Delaware a mother of three, as well as her friend that came along for support, was shot and killed inside the courthouse she was arriving at for a child-support hearing (article).
- In October, 2011 a total of eight people were killed when a man opened fire in the hair salon his ex-wife worked at. The two were involved in a difficult, ongoing custody battle (article).
- In fact, divorce litigation is so stressful to everyone involved that even a family law judge in West Virginia has found himself in hot water after a screaming rampage aimed at a party. The court video, which begins with a ‘Viewer Discretion is Advised’ warning from YouTube, shows the judge screaming at the husband so loudly that the audio starts to cut out.
Want to avoid all of this?
Check out our Divorce Mediation Process page and Divorce Mediation FAQ page to learn more about how mediation can help you get through your divorce without going bankrupt and putting your kids in the middle.