Most people cannot easily take time off from work during the week, nor can they afford unlimited legal fees to get unhitched. So what if these couples could at least agree to try a flat-fee weekend mediation session? This is the question I want to answer, and there is only one way to find out. Starting next month, I am going to offer flat-fee weekend mediation sessions for couples seeking to reach an agreement on all issues arising from their marriage.
If we can agree to cooperate with the exchange of vital information, such as the current value of all marital assets, each person’s income and monthly expenses, as well as the child-related costs that need to be addressed, then it is possible in a structured setting to (1) identify the major legal issues, (2) generate various options, and (3) work towards a global solution that everyone can live with. Of course no one would be pressured to sign anything, and each party could go consult his/her own attorney afterwards to make sure the deal on the table is a fair one.
Over the past decade, I have seen an increasing number of clients choose mediation or ADR (alternate dispute resolution) over litigation. It is not that people are necessarily less angry or scared about the divorce process, but rather that consumers have come to understand that time is money, and going to court is very expensive. So, for those that are cost-conscious and are looking for a more efficient way to resolve their marital differences, a flat-fee weekend divorce session could be the perfect solution.
I am very excited to launch this new service, and if you know of anyone that might benefit from this option, please share! It will be interesting to see how many will choose to try this weekend divorce, which is only for MD and DC clients committed to being productive and keeping things confidential.
By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.