Most counselors have successfully mediated divorces of extreme complexity.
Unfortunately , a part of any counseling specialty is the inevitable therapeutic failure
leads to divorce. This is especially true for marriage and family therapy.
Unresolved conflict in the marital and sexual arena in a relationship eventually has two
- The party lives together in a semi-hostile truce situation for "the sake of the children" or
fear of economic destruction.
- Divorce. Of the two alternatives, the literature is supportive of divorce as the
more mentally healthy of the two.
Let us examine a "typical" divorce of a family with two children and combined income of
$50,000.00. Each party would seek legal representation, retainer fees of 1,500.00 to $2000.00
each would be paid and mutually obligatory restraining orders would be issued with the petition
and the response.
After months of legal wrangling, including depositions of both parties until
economic collapse occurs and one party capitulates on the ONLY two issues that are being
litigated: money and custody of minor children.
If the litigation proceeds on these two points,
legal fees of $45,000 are not unusual and the time involved is 18 months to two years. For
valued in the millions, the costs can range upwards of several hundred thousand dollars.
Can you imagine the difficulties of trying to cooperate on the raising of two minor children when the
legal system itself has drawn major battle lines and fostered ill will between formerly loving
What is the alternative?
Mediation and Arbitration. Very simply, it is a matter of mutually resolving division
of community assets, custody of minor children and spousal support (if any).
The structure of the
agreement is worked out by the couple and "the pen
is in their hands."
Both know if they are unable to fashion an agreement they can live with, a
judge and two attorneys will fashion an agreement for them (that may indeed lead to many more
years of hostility, inability to cooperate on matters of child rearing, and a mutually
disadvantageous economic situation).
Licensed professionals, including M.D.s,
certified public accountants, marriage and family counselors, psychologists, and lawyers are
utilized to mediate differences with all agreements drawn by attorneys after the couple decides what they want.
The usual costs including attorney's fees for a full dissolution becomes
minimal and the parties are much better prepared for future relationships and
shared child rearing because they did not enter into an adversarial