Mediation and Professional Training, with Bob Collins
(212) 692-9222 | 914-271-9598 | bcollins@bestweb.net

Alternatives

CHOOSING A PATH: PROCESS CHOICE IN DIVORCE

When should you try to negotiate, or mediate… or litigate ? Here’s what the various approaches to divorce can look like:

 

 
DISCUSSION
MEDIATION
ATTORNEY NEGOTIATION
COLLABORATIVE LAW
LITIGATION
ADJUDICATION
PROCESSDirect, but unassisted talksDirect, but assisted talksAttorney dialogue, with exchanges of information, but no formal discoveryProfessionally hosted client dialogue, with other professionals presentFormal discovery, with settlement before trialFormal discovery proceedings, followed by trial
COSTFree -- or whatever ordering two Starbucks creations costs this month$ 150-600 per hour; TOTAL COST: $3,500 to $5,000$ 250-750 per hour for each attorney; TOTAL COST, perhaps $5,000 to $15,000 EACH$ 250-750 per hour for each attorney plus costs of additional professionals; TOTAL COST, perhaps $10,000 to $20,000 EACH$ 250-750 per hour for each attorney; TOTAL COST, perhaps $20,000 to $50,000 EACH$ 250-750 per hour for each attorney; TOTAL COST, perhaps $50,000
to $100,000 EACH ...or more
TIMEUndeterminedFrom 8 to 12 weeksFrom 3 to 9 monthsFrom 3 to 9 monthsFrom 12 to 24 monthsFrom one to three years
BENEFITS
Direct, free discussions between the two people who should be making the decisions Guided discussions, with input regarding solutions other couples have used; the neutral host can temper the tone of the talks, if neededProfessional guidance and representation are used throughout the negotiationsProfessional guidance and representation are used throughout the negotiations. Parties are present for substantive negotiations, and additional professional input is availableUseful if facts need to be established, or financial information ferreted outThe laws of the State are applied to the family. If the spouses can't agree, a Judge will impose a solution and provide closure
DRAWBACKSNo referee is present during discussions, or professional input as to agenda or optionsNo power to subpoena documents, cross-examine or force responses to questions; people must be able to speak out for themselvesProcess is indirect, and frequently invisible to the parties; personalities of the attorneys may become a factor. Costs are harder to controlCosts can escalate as additional professionals are brought into the process, and principals can become marginalized in the negotiationsCan be an expensive exercise in preparing for a trial that never occurs; the contest between attorneys frequently takes on a life of its own. Proceeding formally can be slow and costlyThe laws of the State are applied to the family, with no guarantee that your Judge's interpretations of those laws will result in an acceptable outcome on any issue