CENTRE FOR MEDIATION & DISPUTE RESOLUTION ONLINE

Knowledge Base

Litigated Divorces Collapse In The
       Wake of Economic Hard Times

July 2003
Written by Amy Belforti, CMDR Staff

A weak economy, job insecurity, and the war on terror are causing divorced couples to return to court. Renegotiation of alimony, child support, visitation, life insurance, health insurance and a myriad of other issues, not in question or even anticipated when the divorce took place, suddenly become problematic. According to an article in the May 29, 2003 issue of the Boston Globe, from 2000 to 2002 the number of filings to reopen judgments increased 27.3%. Incomplete agreements, silent on terms for handling changed circumstances, coupled with emotionally and financially costly return trips to court suggest the need for both a different negotiating strategy and final product.

Bitter, costly post divorce litigation does not need to be the norm for hard times. Divorcing couples need to be committed to structuring an agreement that is predicated on the understanding that circumstances can and will change. Mediation, if based on producing a through and future-oriented agreement, provides an ideal forum for analyzing the impact of future changes on each family’s life. Couples will not need to return to court. At CMDR, every “what if” is thought through and resolved. In the words of a Centre for Mediation client, “We made more progress in two hours and $540.00 at CMDR than after six years and six figures wasted on litigation.”

Second to the cost savings, self-determination is the most outstanding benefit of mediation. In litigation much of the way property is divided depends on how aggressive your lawyer is compared to your spouse’s lawyer, not to mention which spouse has more stamina for battle.

In mediation, an experienced mediator helps couples negotiate a fair settlement. Child support, spousal support and parenting plans are more likely to be maintained when mutually decided. With mediation, reputations are maintained and privacy protected.

At the Centre for Mediation, our commitment is to provide each client with a thorough, detailed agreement that anticipates future circumstances and provides comprehensive, thoughtful solutions. EachCMDR agreement is unique to each client. With more than twenty-one years of experience with divorcing couples in mediation, we have a vast knowledgebase of creative ways to problem-solve.

What, after all, are couples really left with after a bitter divorce? How does their behavior impact their children, family and friends? Mediation enables couples to maintain their dignity, to “take the high road.” They can work through their differences and become stronger, better people as a result.



Free in-person or telephone consultations available Literature and fees are available upon request.
To schedule an appointment, please call 781-239-1600 or e-mail us at cmdr@cmdronline.com