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When to Choose Mediation over Conventional Divorce and Attorneys

What is the difference between a mediated divorce and conventional divorce?

sam_mediation_photoIn a conventional the divorce husband and wife each hire a lawyer to be in charge of the divorce. Usually the lawyers fight in court and prepare for a trial in which a judge decides all the issues related to children, support and division of property.. But less than one percent of divorces actually go to trial. In more than 99% of all divorces the lawyers negotiate a settlement on the eve of trial. So after paying many thousands of dollars to prepare for a trial the couple negotiates a settlement one to five years after the process begins. Divorce Mediation is a reform movement started in the late 1970′s by lawyers and therapists appalled by the unreasonable waste of emotional and economic resources in conventional divorce. The premise of mediation is that if the couple is going to settle the case anyhow why put them through the cost of preparing for a trial that is not going to happen in 99% of divorces? Why not help them retain control of the process and negotiate a settlement themselves with the help of a trained facilitator, the mediator? Continue reading

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Should You Fire Your Divorce Attorney?

About half of divorcing people report that they are unhappy with their lawyers. Some are so unhappy that they fire their lawyer and hire another one. And some of those people find that they are just as unhappy with the new lawyer. There are even a few poor souls who go through numerous lawyers before the divorce is over and invariably, they are still unhappy with the last lawyer. Early in my career when I was practicing conventional divorce law I developed a rule for myself, after a few unfortunate experiences, that I would never be anyone’s third lawyer. If the first two lawyers were unable to satisfy, why would I be able to do it. I suspect my rule saved me from some very miserable clients. Continue reading

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Is Good Divorce Possible?

good-divorce-marguliesIs there such a thing as good divorce?  As in any human endeavor there is a range of performance and a range of possible outcomes.  Just as there is bad divorce characterized by mutual self defeat, there is also successful divorce in which a couple has successfully negotiated a post-divorce arrangement that leaves both partners as well a s their children able to adapt to their new lives. Continue reading

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