Archive for September, 2013

Isn’t it cheaper just to mediate the terms of my divorce?

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Collaboration differs from mediation, although many people confuse the two processes. With a Collaborative divorce, you have your lawyer by your side, advising you throughout the entire process. Mediators, even if they are trained as lawyers, are not allowed to provide the parties with legal advice. Their role is narrowly defined and works best when facilitating an agreement between two equally-knowledgeable and savvy parties. With mediation, if lawyers are hired at all, it is often just to review the documents that have been drafted without the benefit of counsel. This patchwork approach can result in less durable, less satisfactory settlements which may cost more money in the long run if they have to be changed. Making changes to signed agreements is possible, depending on the issue at hand, but this is almost never a simple matter.

Many people do not realize the extent to which a Divorce Decree is a formal contract and its provisions pertaining to tax exemptions, health and life insurance, pensions, 401ks, QDROs, alimony, stock options, business valuations, mortgages, parenting schedules, etc. are binding once the document is signed. Like with all contracts, you have to be able to anticipate the future and build in provisions that consider what might happen down the road.

Collaborative divorce is the only process where the clients are fully represented by their own attorneys AND where those lawyers are 100% committed to settlement of disputes without court. In fact the commitment to settlement is so strong that your lawyer cannot go to court in your case. This prohibition frees the lawyer to help you develop creative, well-reasoned, well-crafted solutions to your unique situation. The settlement is on your terms and respects your needs, as well as your timetable.

Lisa Forberg, Esq.

Lisa Forberg, Esq.

 Attorney Lisa Forberg is a collaborative divorce lawyer with Forberg Law in Manchester, N.H.