When couples with significant assets decide to get divorced, it can become a costly and protracted proceeding. In New Jersey, for example, the average cost for divorce attorney fees ranges between $12,500 and $14,500. But high net worth couples are not average, they have many unique issues that take more time to resolve, and their legal fees are often much higher.
With so much property and assets at stake, there is the potential for a long and drawn out court battle. And before everything is said and done, you could find that a substantial portion of your net worth is eaten up in legal fees. It doesn’t have to be this way, however.
There are better alternatives these days for high net worth couples, and divorce mediation is an increasingly preferred method. Through mediation, a couple can resolve all of their issues outside of court, so it officially becomes an uncontested divorce. This is not to say that there are no issues along the way, it is just that the couple chooses to work them out on their own with the help and guidance of a professional, third-party divorce mediator.
How Does Divorce Mediation Work?
Divorce mediation is a cooperative approach that can be done in a live setting or virtually, whatever the spouses are most comfortable with. The spouses meet with the mediator, who is there to facilitate the discussion and guide the conversation toward a civil and workable resolution.
During the mediation process, outside specialists can be brought in to help deal with various issues in which they have in-depth expertise. For example, high net worth couples often require the assistance of CPAs, business appraisers, real estate experts, and other financial specialists for the various types of property and assets that need to be divided.
As an aside, at AMS, we have in-house experts that can be brought in when needed to help ensure a seamless process from start to finish. These professionals are not only experienced in their area of expertise but they also have experience in dealing with mediating parties. Very different from professionals who only work with attorneys for litigated divorces.
All in all, the divorce mediation process can be completed in as soon as a couple of months or maybe a little longer, depending on the complexity of your situation and the time it takes to resolve everything. Either way, this is significantly less time than it would take to go through traditional divorce litigation.
How High Net Worth Couples Can Benefit from Divorce Mediation
As we have touched on previously, an uncontested divorce that is done through mediation can save high net worth couples tens of thousands of dollars or more in legal costs, and the couple can complete their divorce in a fraction of the time it would take for the process to go through court. These are not the only benefits of mediation, however. There are several others as well, including:
This great graphic will have mediation parties prepared for success! Understanding what we can and cannot change. It is my practice to meet with mediation parties separately prior to a...By Sue Miglino