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Divorce Mediation vs. Lawyers

Old 10-25-2010, 07:18 AM
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Divorce Mediation vs. Lawyers

Wondering if anyone can offer advice about one vs. the other. Since my conversation with AH on Friday I'm a little anxious to get things moving and over with. It kills me that he's just willing to roll over like this and not even fight for me, but truthfully the time for that has passed.

Anyway I'm getting off topic here. AH says he want to do this as "amicably as possible and without a whole lot of lawyers and fire under the table." He also says he only wants a few things, which I believe since this isn't the first time he's run away with only the clothes on his back.

I'm not willing to try to figure the whole paperwork bureaucracy out on my own so it's either going to be I hire a lawyer and I assume he would then have to do the same or we go to a divorce mediator.

Anyone have any experience with the former? What about cost is one significantly cheaper than the other. It should be relatively easy, we have nothing, no kids and like I said he doesn't really want anything.

PS I'm in New York, if that matters
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Old 10-25-2010, 07:24 AM
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Hi Bklyngrl,
I am in NY too, and if you agree on things, it's ok to use one lawyer, and keep it simple.
There is also a company called Divorce Associates, I think in Manhattan, that will do the paperwork, and it's very inexpensive, and you just have to work it all out with regard to division of your assets yourselves.
Divorce doesn't have to be expensive, but if you each get your own attorney, then they will, from my experience, make it messier and more expensive than it needs to be.
I'd look around on Google...you will find resources.
Sending good thoughts your way.
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Old 10-25-2010, 07:41 AM
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My divorce was free.

I live in Ca. and all I paid for was the forms, maybe $30??

We have 1 child, but we were not fighting for custody and had a pre-arranged agreement between ourselves. We had nothing to split, I didn't want alimony and he didn't want child support.

The judge was very happy to see such an "easy" case!

I filed for a fee waiver, and as long as there are no arguements and the other party does not contest, there is no charge,
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Old 10-25-2010, 07:49 AM
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i divorced my husband in washington dc for $45.

i went to the court house where we got married, went to the marriage office and asked how do i file for uncontested divorce? they sent me to an office two doors down the hall, where they gave me a form for us to complete and sign. we both went back and submitted the paper the next day. they asked who was the plaintiff? my ex said he'd rather divorce me even though i was the one leaving. i said sure.

a few weeks later, we had a court date. walked in, stood there, divorced in 1 minute.

he took me out to lunch afterwards. it was nice.
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Old 10-25-2010, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by naive View Post
i divorced my husband in washington dc for $45.

i went to the court house where we got married, went to the marriage office and asked how do i file for uncontested divorce? they sent me to an office two doors down the hall, where they gave me a form for us to complete and sign. we both went back and submitted the paper the next day. they asked who was the plaintiff? my ex said he'd rather divorce me even though i was the one leaving. i said sure.

a few weeks later, we had a court date. walked in, stood there, divorced in 1 minute.

he took me out to lunch afterwards. it was nice.

Mine was almost as peaceful, just no lunch afterwards!

In the parking lot as he walked to his truck, he yelled "Hallelujah".

Whatever....
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Old 10-25-2010, 08:23 AM
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ha, ha.

well, you one-upped me by filing for the waiver. nice one!

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Old 10-25-2010, 08:33 AM
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I am a lawyer in New York, but don't do divorces. My friend is divorcing her ah. She will eventually have to divorce by publication because she can't find him,but she spoke to several attorneys who walked her through everything. She was told if you both agree, there is no need to have an attorney, not even to file. The courts are pretty happy to help those who don't have counsel, so call the court and they can tell you where to file. If you are in manhattan, you are in New York county. If in Brooklyn, you are in Kings county.
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:53 AM
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You all make it seem so easy. I'm sitting here with 50 plus pages of papers printed from the NYS court system and I just want to cry. I don't want to pay an arm and a leg to get this done. But at the same time I don't know if it's worth the emotional stress trying to figure it out on my own. Ugh, I just want to go curl up in a ball somewhere.
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Old 10-25-2010, 10:29 AM
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I don't think you need a mediator until you have reached the point where the two of you can't agree.

I have never been divorced but I just watched my BF go through a very expensive one. In hind sight, the one thing I would tell him to do from the start is write out a list of what you want, in all the areas where this is important. So, for example, if it were me, I would start with:

I WANT:
everything I came into the marriage with (the house, my car, all the living room and dining room furniture, etc)

YOU CAN HAVE:
everything you came into the marriage with

I keep my 401k and you keep yours.
I keep what my parents and family and friends gave us and you keep what yours did. Except, can I have the clock?

Whatever, but you get the idea, right? Start focusing on what YOU WANT.
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Old 10-25-2010, 12:47 PM
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If you want help translating documents, pm me. Legal language can be a bit much to untie. Also, if you would rather not pm, but still need free help, call the state bar association. They can usually direct you to free resources. Some organizations also provide free help with divorces depending on your financial situation.
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Old 10-25-2010, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Learn2Live View Post
I don't think you need a mediator until you have reached the point where the two of you can't agree.

I have never been divorced but I just watched my BF go through a very expensive one. In hind sight, the one thing I would tell him to do from the start is write out a list of what you want, in all the areas where this is important. So, for example, if it were me, I would start with:

I WANT:
everything I came into the marriage with (the house, my car, all the living room and dining room furniture, etc)

YOU CAN HAVE:
everything you came into the marriage with

I keep my 401k and you keep yours.
I keep what my parents and family and friends gave us and you keep what yours did. Except, can I have the clock?

Whatever, but you get the idea, right? Start focusing on what YOU WANT.
I guess that's someplace to start.
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Old 10-25-2010, 12:58 PM
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I did mediation but that was only because xah refused to engage in any discussions. If you agree that would be great (and much less expensive). Because of my xah's unwillingness to engage it cost me over $12,000 for him to take half my stuff and get his child support lowered. Had nothing to do with my lawyer-just the way things are. No fault divorce means just that. NY is no fault.

Really if you can agree on things that will make life very simple.
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Old 10-25-2010, 01:16 PM
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Yes, New York just became a no fault state. You can find more info if you google it.
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Old 10-25-2010, 01:22 PM
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Unfortunately I got to experience fully (painfully). But it was a price worth paying.
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Old 10-25-2010, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by BklynGrl View Post
I guess that's someplace to start.
How does it go? QUESTION: How do you eat an elephant? ANSWER: One bite at a time.

Whenever I get confused and frustrated it helps me to sit quietly and just think, "What is important to me?" and "What are my personal values?" That helps me to proceed in my own best interest (because no one else is really going to).

You can do this.
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:30 PM
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I am actually going to mediation tomorrow. We both have lawyers, but I think this will work out better this way. (I make a lot of money. He makes, well not much. And I'm not going to just take it, although I do hope I don't get totally screwed.)

We shall see, I guess.
Wish me luck. I'm not exactly nervous per se, more just antsy to get it over with. It's taken nearly 8 months to get to this point. I think he actually needed that time to let it all sink in, but still. I am ready to get this over with.

D
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