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Mediation versus Court in Divorce

“I’ll get my day in court!”  …….   “The judge won’t like what you did!”   ……..   “I’m going to spread your dirt all over the courtroom!”

We’ve all heard someone say these things. Guess what…You really don’t want your day in court! Here’s why:

Expensive Legal Fees

The longer you drag out the process, the more your estate will suffer. You could spend $50,000, $60,000 or more on the divorce process and that is less money for you to divide! Wouldn’t you rather use that money for…hmmm…ANYTHING ELSE?? Court costs so much money because there is so much preparation. Court is war. You want your attorney (or lead warrior) to be fully prepared which requires time and information. We’ve seen multiple families spend $50,000, $60,000, $100,000 or more on their divorce.  Fighting just to “get him” or “nail her” could likely just transfer your kids college funds into your lawyer’s kids’ college funds without much for you to show for it.

Time in “Limbo”

Divorce is beyond painful. I know!! I’ve been there. I’ve sat in front of the judge and even though I “won” that battle, the war was lost by everyone in our family.  It was excruciating. I know there could have been a better way to achieve the same goal without the long, drawn out battle which cost us so much effort, time, energy and hurt our child. As long as you are in the process of divorce, it will be impossible for you to begin the process of healing and moving on with your life. Ask yourself how much time you really want to spend in this “limbo” state.

A Stranger Deciding the Future of your Family

The stranger in the black robe that has never met you, your spouse, or your children will be deciding your future and more importantly your children’s futures! To make it worse, they’re basing these decisions based on a fraction of information they’ve been given about your life…and then a fraction of THAT is what they’ll actually consider relevant. Frightening!


In most Texas counties, you will be required to attend mediation before the court will hear your case. For the reasons stated above, embrace the idea of creating solutions for your future that will work for both of you. This is your chance to keep control of what you really want while creating a cooperative environment of giving your spouse what’s important to them as well. There is a solution – it may take hours to get there, but there is a solution. You only need the right people to help you find creative settlement options.  You need a strong attorney and if your estate is of any significant size and/or you are middle age or older,  you’ll need a financial expert helping you as well.

Preparing for Mediation

Your attorney.

Your attorney is your strongest ally and support. They are there for legal counsel and guidance.  You hired them, now trust them! They know the law, the court you are in, and have walked through thousands of divorces before you.

A Certified Divorce Financial Analyst or CDFA®

While attorneys know the law and the courts, a CDFA knows divorce finance and tax. We are financial advisors specifically trained to work with divorcing clients.  I’ve been the client so not only do I understand the work professionally, I understand it personally.   When you have property, investment accounts, savings accounts, retirement accounts, etc., it’s important to realize how you split things today will have a significant effect on your future.  We have saved clients thousands of dollars in tax savings, helped create win-win solutions, and provided peace of mind by using the settlement options in mediation to create financial plans. We help you by working out those details in mediation before you sign an agreement.  Leave mediation knowing you made informed financial decisions and with a clear vision of your future.


Denise French, MAFF, CVA, CDFA, CRPC

Denise founded Divorce Strategies Group in 2014. Divorce Strategies Group was incepted because of her own ugly divorce in 2007. Denise desired to create a firm where others could have a better divorce experience, and to help other children not face the trauma her own child experienced. She helps other… MORE >

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