The option of divorce mediation is often raised when parties do not want to pay tens of thousands of dollars to attorneys and experts to get a divorce. Mediation is almost always the much less expensive way to divorce. This fact notwithstanding, mediation is also the right option when money is no concern. Whether one has money to spare or not, everyone benefits from the peaceful process, which promotes the welfare of the children (where there are children involved) and eliminates the risk of litigation in an expeditious and confidential process.
This fact again made its way into the public consciousness as it became known that Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner decided to divorce using the mediation process. See Yahoo Parenting Article: “Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck’s Ambitious Co-Parenting Strategy,” by Elise Solé, July 1, 2015. According to a US Weekly source quoted in the article: “They want it to be simple and this takes the drama out of it. It is important for them to keep this nice and efficient for the sake of their family.” The article goes on to state that the divorcing couple have: “even hired a mediator to expedite the divorce procedure amicably.”
The reporter, Ms. Solé, interviewed Fran Walfish, PsyD, a psychotherapist in Beverly Hills, California, who had this to say, according to the reporter: “[A] mediator is a neutral person who sits down with a couple and guides them toward a mutual agreement. ‘What Ben and Jen are saying is, ‘We don’t want to fight.’ Mediators are also often hired by people who can’t afford legal counsel, so it’s noteworthy that a wealthy celebrity couple is taking this approach.”
Wise words were also included in the article from Ritchie Sambora, who has a child with ex-wife Heather Locklear: “We’re better friends now than ever. If you don’t get along you are messing the kid up. That’s what happens. So you have to put that before whatever s— is going on. Communication has got to come first. There’s a cooling off period obviously, as you know. It takes time.”
Alona M. Gottfried is a family mediator and attorney in Arizona. If you have questions about mediation, she can be reached at: 480-998-1500 or email@example.com. This is a general interest article only and is not intended to be legal advice. See a legal professional before making legal decisions.
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