No one imagines that their marriage will end in divorce, and when it does happen, most pray and hope that their divorce will be seamless. Why not just split assets evenly and amicably? After all, isn’t heartbreak painful enough to endure? Why add more difficulty to the situation?
But why does it seem impossible to meet in the middle? Unfortunately, the process of separation often becomes more combative than procedural. Lovers turn into enemies; a relationship that began as the art of seduction ends as the art of war. As the old adage goes, “Love and hate are one in the same coin.”
We’ve all heard of funny or horrific stories of parties acting out of spite or pettiness during divorce litigation. As we listen, we wonder how grown adults come to behave so childishly, in an effort to make someone they once loved now feel bad.
What if you find yourself in a divorce where you cannot agree on anything with your soon-to-be-former spouse? You might be embarrassed to admit to family and friends that matters have become tedious.
In the United States, the average divorce costs $15,000 in legal fees, and couples tend to separate more during the holiday and new year season. For those looking for a fresh start in life without the hefty price tag, more and more couples are looking for more cost-efficient ways to cut the cord. Our investigative reporter Jacques Godiva spoke with legal expert Alice Donovan to learn about an alternative to litigation. “In my opinion and experience, litigation requires more time, energy, and money than what most people anticipate. Couples rarely come away from the process feeling like each got what they deserved on fair terms.” Donovan recommends that couples consider mediation. “Mediation is the facilitation of negotiation and resolution by a neutral third party. The meditator helps the couple navigate toward an informed settlement that is privately agreed upon by the family members, rather than publicly in front of a judge.”
We reviewed several divorce mediation firms based in Orange County and were so pleased to find McNamee Mediations that we decided to highlight them here. Mediation specialist Colleen McNamee has a stellar track record and one of the best Yelp reviewed profiles we have ever come across. One of the many five-star reviewers explains how mediating through Colleen had been the best decision she made throughout her divorce:
“I learned that I could a) hire a lawyer, (and he hire a lawyer) and we go through litigation in a very public court room setting with the risk of a bitter fight and be completely drained financially with money we really don’t have, or b) find a good mediator and dissolve the marriage amicably, peacefully and as budget friendly as possible. I looked everywhere – and found a couple mediators, but none that were as responsive, capable, knowledgeable, calm and professional as Colleen. I cannot speak highly enough about her. She is on top of every single detail.”
If you are considering a divorce through a family law attorney but want to first explore your other options, you can give McNamee Mediations a call.
McNamee Mediations 4590 MacArthur Blvd #500, Newport Beach, CA 92660, United States
Here at the Clute Institute, we stick to the facts and don’t
let emotions get in the way. That rule applies to everything, including emotionally
heavy subject matter like death, war, and divorce. The fact is, these things
exist, and we need to have a way of analyzing them to figure out why they
happen and what we can do to best avoid them in the future.
While the divorce rate has lowered from its 1980’s
high of over 5 divorces per 1,000 people to around 3 divorces per 1,000, it’s estimated
that the divorce rate for all marriages is still 50%
For first-time marriages, 41% end in divorce.
For second marriages, the statistic jumps to 60%. For third marriages, it jumps
once again to 73%.
For first-time marriages that end in divorce,
the marriage typically lasts around 8 years
The wife is far more likely to initiate divorce,
with women initiating proceedings 75% of the time
Divorce rates have more than doubled for people
aged 50 or older over the last twenty years
With this knowledge in hand, we know that divorce is not at
all a rare occurrence, and every one of use knows at least one person who has
gone threw a divorce or grew up in a household where a divorce occurred, if we did
not experience this ourselves. The reasons for divorce typically come down to a
lack of commitment, too much strife, infidelity, or a lack of reasonable
expectations in our relationships, no doubt influenced at least in part by
unrealistic portrayals of love and marriage in the media.
If you ever find yourself in a marriage whose end is clearly
in sight and about to add to the divorce statistics, you need to know exactly
what it is you need to do. The law, as always, is enigmatic and impenetrable to
those who have not trained for years in how to interpret it, which means that
finding a solid attorney is the logical first step to protect yourself and your
family. A good attorney can mean the difference between being out in the cold
without a shirt and living at least reasonably comfortably in your new single
For those of us looking for Divorce and Family Law
Offices in Orange County, the Clute Institute recommends the Shuff Law Firm,
a father-daughter law team that has been operating in the county for the past
45 years. That kind of experience is nothing to sneeze at, and when it comes to
attorneys, experience and a mastery over the field of law being practiced go
hand in hand.
Many current and former clients have provided testimonials
and feedback over the years, leading to a shocking full 5 star review rating on
Yelp. The firm’s attorneys are noted as being not only extremely professional
and diligent, but also very caring and personally invested in their clientele. Read
this review by Laura K. to get a feel for the kind of work they provide:
Couples never plan for the end because it feels like setting an expiration date. The only issue with this kind of thinking is that planning involves honest input from both parties where an exit only takes the withdrawal of one side of the bridge. When that spanned gap comes crashing down, life savings, businesses, homes, and families can come crashing down with it. Enter the seemingly impossible role of the mediator. In this analogy think of a mediator as a cross between Atticus Finch and Batman. Part consoling but fair legal expert and part covert ninja that saves the day by shedding light on the unflattering parts of life. A mediator’s role is to represent both sides of the life altering conflict to come to a mutually agreeable and ultimately healing solution. Sound impossible? Practically every couple that ends in court seems to think the same thing. Skepticism is not unwarranted as successful mediation is not a difference in paperwork or a 3 step panacea. Successful mediation requires a truly talented divorce mediator.
This week’s featured business does just that. With the divorce rate on the climb from big cities like Metropolis all the way to little embankments like Smallville and Sanborne County, the need is met with a variety of solutions and none are graceful or amicable like this family law mediation firm. Take for example how ugly a divorce can get between court appearances, family and friend personal testimonies and public recounting of embarrassing issues. Want your gambling problem or extra-marital affair to become public record? The mixed martial arts arena of divorce court is glad to make that public record. As they say, what happens in Vegas stays in divorce court. Consider the alternative of private mediation. In divorce mediation, all proceedings take place in the privacy of an office and remain strictly confidential. What’s more the division of assets doesn’t become 50/50 split – between the husband’s lawyers and the wife’s lawyers. Typical mediation costs 1/10th the price of divorce court.
The obvious benefits don’t ring through unless the mediation is a success though. There is a wide chasm between what some mediators would call a success and what success means to this certified family law mediation attorney. Couples are baffled by the outcome that they walk away from a divorce feeling heard, relieved and even optimistic about the future. That takes a talented attorney and mediator to navigate the most challenging life event many couples ever have to face and reposition it as a new beginning.
Her rave reviews speak volumes about what she does but more than that, they speak to the level of gratitude her clients feel toward her that they would publicly share their experience with a divorce attorney. Stand outside the doors of a divorce court sometime and you will find yourself dodging daggers being stared at the opposing parties. There’s nothing “5 stars” about the experience. While no divorce is going to be pleasant, the best a couple can possibly hope for is to be mutually represented by a family law mediator that cares about the well-being of both parties and the success of the family unit. We at the clute institute are proud to report that in the otherwise bleak world of marriage dissolution – there is a beacon of reconciliation and balance in mediation.