This is really crazy if you think about it – I can walk down to City Hall, fill out a form, pay $35 and 24 hours later enter into the biggest legal contract I will ever enter into! I do not need to take a five hour class like I would need to if I were applying for a driver’s license or a gun permit. There is no fine print on the form. I am not advised that I should have a lawyer present before I sign. No place on the form does it include phrases like “The parties hereto warrant and represent… Each party has been given the opportunity to be represented by an attorney …Both parties are aware of their rights under the law …” phrases that you find all over a divorce agreement. You get my point!
The contract that took 15 minutes and $35 to enter into can take thousands of dollars and sometimes years to get out of. Everyone has heard divorce horror stories that left couples hating each other, children devastated and lawyers with new summer houses. It is true – the “traditional” divorce process – with two lawyers negotiating on their client’s behalf through the court system – is pretty much a nightmare. The process itself makes things much more difficult and adversarial than they need to be.
Thankfully there are now better divorce options. People just need to know about them.
Divorce Mediation. In mediation couples work together with a trained mediator to work out everything that needs to be decided in divorce – division of property, support (spousal and child) and parenting. In mediation you can always consult with an attorney to be sure your legal rights are being protected but the couple forms their own agreement. The end result is the same as the traditional divorce process but mediation is far less expensive, takes much less time and is a more positive divorce experience.
Online Divorce. Couples mediate their divorce online via Skype or other video conferencing service instead of meeting in a mediator’s office. I have mediated several divorces via Skype and it works just as well as when meeting in my office. Talk about convenient and cost effective! This is a perfect option for couples who have already separated or where one or both spouses travel frequently.
Check into the DivorceHotel. Couples can mediate their divorce over the course of several days at a luxury hotel. The benefits of DivorceHotel are knowing exactly how much the divorce will cost, exactly how long it will take and ending the marriage in a positive way.
I truly believe we need to educate people on what they are getting into BEFORE they get married and that they have better options should it come time for divorce.
*A national news program wants to spread the word about positive divorce options by doing a story on DivorceHotel and is willing to pay for the fees and travel expenses for a couple who completes their divorce at DivorceHotel and is willing to have their process filmed. If you are interested contact firstname.lastname@example.org.