Typically, litigating divorce lawyers try to wear three hats to address not only legal, but also financial and emotional concerns. In contrast, our collaborative professionals serve you in their specific areas of expertise. This saves you time and money, enhances efficiency and reduces stress.
For example, for a collaborative divorce you both hire a single, neutral financial specialist to compile and analyze all your financial information, rather than two forensic accountants or two adversarial attorneys. At PCD, the neutral financial specialist is a CPA who can also help you assess and consider, for example, the tax consequences of various scenarios or outcomes. Both your collaboratively trained attorneys rely on the same information, rather than on competing, adversarial views of your financial information. There is no confidentiality amongst the collaborative professionals so sharing information is easy, and unencumbered by the positioning and posturing necessary in an adversarial court battle. Finally, financial specialists are often less expensive than attorneys.
Costs also typically increase significantly when emotional reactivity is enacted by partners in ways that sabotage your reaching an agreement. How? More professional intervention is needed to clean-up and contain the “messes” created by emotional reactivity and related communications, and this, in turn, drives up your costs.
In a collaborative divorce, divorce coaches (licensed mental health professionals) reduce your costs by preparing you to communicate effectively in and during meetings, while also helping you to manage your emotional reactivity. In litigated divorces, attorneys untrained in collaborative law often “absorb” the emotional reactivity of their clients and direct it at opposing counsel and your partner. Aside from eroding any future good will, using attorneys to escalate and act out emotional tension can result in costly attorney email exchanges, rigid positioning and a costly focus on gathering evidence to justify those rigid positions before a judge – all of which costs you both thousands of dollars.
Mediation and collaborative divorce can be considerably less expensive for couples who get the support they need to be able to: communicate effectively, keep their emotions regulated and follow tips for keeping costs down. In contrast, the average litigated divorce (arguing in court in front of a judge) in California costs approximately $120,000 (!!) depending on your income and assets, how volatile you are as a couple, and how much your attorneys are willing to support your fighting over unimportant matters. For high-conflict couples, even the average mediated or collaborative divorce can cost between $35,000-$45,000 — this is still approximately 1/3 of the cost of the average litigated divorce for a couple that is not high conflict. Couples can cut the costs of mediation and collaborative divorce processes to a fraction of this, if they are able to follow the tips for cutting costs.
Couples that sign up for a collaborative divorce can save thousands of dollars by relying on their collaborative professionals to help them communicate effectively, regulate emotions, enhance empathy and concern for the well-being of all family members, while also following the financial and legal advice of skilled professionals committed to helping them preserve their assets.