Oct 01, 2007

Taking the High Road Saves Time and Money

Last week, the longest divorce trial in Connecticut history (and possibly in any court) finished up after 86 days. Yup, more than four months of courtroom wrangling over property and, mainly, child custody in a trial between a wealthy Wesport resident and his wife. Lynne Tuohy reports on the ugly details in the Hartford Courant, noting that the trial wreaked havoc on the family and resulted in over $13 million in legal fees and costs.

Fighting over issues is expensive. Most people don't have enough money to carry on a divorce trial of this magnitude--but many still spend enormous amounts of time, money, and energy fighting over issues that would be better resolved through divorce mediation or a collaborative divorce process.

Working out your differences is cheaper, and better for the kids. It's well documented that taking the high road in a divorce--meaning, cooperating with your ex and trying to work out your issues instead of battling them out in court--is better for children, But it's also much less expensive, both in monetary costs and in the cost to families of ongoing conflict. Learn more about collaborative law here. I posted about divorce mediation previously here. And there are lots of resources in the Family & Immigration section of Nolo's website, including Attorney-Mediator Katherine E. Stoner's excellent book, Divorce Without Court: A Guide to Mediation & Collaborative Divorce (Nolo).