The cost of a divorce can vary greatly. To illustrate the point, I often ask my clients, “How much did your wedding cost?” After all, some weddings are done at the courthouse at low cost, while others are multi-million dollar extravaganzas. The same applies to divorces. People can have simple uncontested divorces that can be finalized quickly and without much fanfare. Or they can have complicated highly litigated matters which can become expensive very quickly.
And then of course, some cases end up in front of jury. That’s right, in Georgia, unlike almost every other state, 12 strangers can be empanelled to resolve a divorce case. All it takes is for one party to request a jury, and such cases are generally the most expensive types of cases.
Highly litigated cases often involve extensive discovery and depositions, which can add additional costs to a case. Of course, in addition to the cost of attorneys, cases may also involve experts such as Guardian ad Litems, financial experts, forensic accountants, custody evaluators, co-parenting specialists, psychological evaluators, real estate appraisers, and therapists.
The reality is that the more the parties can agree upon, the less they will spend in a divorce. It really is as simple as that.
If they cannot work out the matters between themselves, then they absolutely should attend mediation with their respective attorneys to try resolve the issues in their case. Court and a trial should, quite frankly, be a last resort. In mediation, the parties have the opportunity to confidentially try and resolve the issues between themselves. With the help of a neutral third party, the parties and their attorneys can come up with flexible and creative ideas to resolve their matter on either a temporary or final basis.
More about mediation, including best practices, will be covered in a subsequent blog entry.
By David Sarif