The Law Offices of Van A. Schwab
Skokie and Libertyville

Wealthy couples may choose mediation to save costs

The more assets an Illinois couple has, the more likely it is that their divorce process may be vulnerable to lengthy and protracted arguments and, ultimately, high costs. However, divorce mediation is helping some well-heeled couples divorce quickly, cleanly, and at a much lower cost than is usual in high-profile cases.

The savings of these fees is no small matter. In New York, for example, a divorce that goes to trial can easily cost at least $100,000, whereas a mediated divorce might cost only $1,000. Mediation also affords the couple more control over the divorce process and allows for creative solutions to problems that might otherwise be decided by a judge.

Mediation may not work in every case. It requires common goals, especially if the couple has sizeable assets. It is also important that both partners agree to keep the divorce out of the public spotlight. This may be difficult if the couple is well-known or are public figures. However, negative publicity can lead to even more problems and can drag divorces out much longer than necessary, so both partners must agree to keep silent about the process and work only with each other.

Divorce mediation does not mean that either party gives up his or her rights. An Illinois family law attorney can still represent each party in the action to ensure that no rights are violated and that the final agreement is fair to his or her client. However, the lawyers' fees associated with a mediated divorce are usually much less than those of a divorce that lasts many months or years and winds up going to trial.

Source: Barron's, "Low cost divorce," Michelle Lodge, Feb. 26, 2013

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