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Divorce/Separation Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: Divorce vs Mediation
JellyGirl84
♀ Member
Member # 41717
Default  Posted: 1:39 PM, December 22nd (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I went with my parents for a free consultation to a lawyer a week ago...it was so expensive to retain them! $3,000? Is that a normal fee? We are still going to be calling around.
Originally, my husband wanted to find a mediator for us because he is so concerned with ending our marriage in what he calls the "fair and clean" way but of course those concepts went out the window as soon as he cheated on me so wtf is he thinking yet again?

Also, something tells me that there are accounts he was hiding from me since he had complete control over our finance and bill payments, which I willingly (and gladly) handed over. When we were living together but engaged, I knew he had a bank account shared with his mother and around the time of our wedding I had asked him to close it. I can't remember if he said he had or the subject just dropped but I just found a bank statement showing the account still remained open in both of their names and $50 of his paycheck continued to be direct deposited into it...!

My issue is that 1) I don't have a lot of money for a lawyer 2) I make more money than he does as a teacher and my pension is valuable plus health insurance. I don't want to wind up being the one to pay alimony or something.

Does anyone know about this?


Me: BS 30
WH: 30
No kids
Together 10 yrs, Married for 3 of those yrs
OP: Ho worker
No real remorse once I kicked him out.

Posts: 96 | Registered: Dec 2013 | From: Nj
devistatedmom
♀ Member
Member # 24961
Default  Posted: 2:11 PM, December 22nd (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

3000 sounds in the right area for a retainer that I've seen others from the US post.

You need a lawyer JellyGirl, especially since you are the higher wage earner. He's entitled to half your pension made during the marriage....but you can negotiate that out. Maybe see what's in his hidden accounts, and trade that for your pension? Something creative. If he's on your health insurance he probably has to stay on until the D is final, then you can remove him.

You need to find a lawyer to protect yourself, or he could take you to the cleaners. Sounds like you need to force him to show all accounts NOW.


BS(me) 46, Two wonderful teens.
He is no longer my best friend. Repeat until it sticks.

WH says marriage is over: May 15, 2009.
EA#2 July 20, 2009. Legally sep: Aug 16, 2009. DIVORCED!!!! Signed Nov 23, final Dec 24, 2010, adultery listed.


Posts: 5373 | Registered: Jul 2009 | From: Canada
JellyGirl84
♀ Member
Member # 41717
Default  Posted: 2:16 PM, December 22nd (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks, dmom, for your prompt reply. I do hope others chime in with their thoughts. $3,000 is so much money....especially if my husband were to then fight for the half of the rest of it which would total just about $5 haha.


Me: BS 30
WH: 30
No kids
Together 10 yrs, Married for 3 of those yrs
OP: Ho worker
No real remorse once I kicked him out.

Posts: 96 | Registered: Dec 2013 | From: Nj
notmeanymore
♀ Member
Member # 9772
Default  Posted: 2:26 PM, December 22nd (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I went through mediation. The mediator will not look out for your best interest like a lawyer will. I agreed to things that I'm sure a lawyer would've smacked me in the head for.


"Put the cuckoo back in the clock baby" - Four Brothers

Posts: 863 | Registered: Feb 2006
kra127
Member
Member # 41045
Default  Posted: 2:52 PM, December 22nd (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I went for a consultation and was told $5,000 retainer for collaborative mediation and $10,000 retainer for litigation. In the state I live in, a pension is a marital asset and a spouse can seek a percentage of it based on how long you were married.


Me 40
WS 39
2 young kids, Married 10 yrs
OW 22, admitted to EA and then TT to PA two weeks later. Also, found out about several "friends".
Dday 10/8/13
Divorcing

Posts: 83 | Registered: Oct 2013
dmari
♀ Member
Member # 37215
Default  Posted: 2:57 PM, December 22nd (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The retainer costs sounds normal. There are ways to get around paying for an attorney but that's only if it is uncontested and not contentious. What did the lawyer say you could expect?

There was a thread here a while ago with the poster asking how do we all afford/pay for attorneys. There were a lot of different answers ~ maybe you could look for that thread.


Me (BS): 42 Children: DD 18, DS 15
Settled at mediation
Officially divorced ... SOON!

Posts: 2117 | Registered: Oct 2012
Abbondad
♂ Member
Member # 37898
Default  Posted: 4:35 AM, December 23rd (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Originally, my husband wanted to find a mediator for us because he is so concerned with ending our marriage in what he calls the "fair and clean" way but of course those concepts went out the window as soon as he cheated on me so wtf is he thinking yet again?

JG,

I too against my better judgement tried a mediator, but WW immediately made it clear in our first session (a waste of 1500.00) that her idea of mediation was me agreeing to all her tyrannical demands.

An amicable divorce in which two mature decent people simply grew apart calls for mediation without attorneys. Mediation in the context of infidelity makes no sense to me: you are dealing with a liar, a cheater, someone who has no regard for you. Why would one expect less in mediation?

I retained an attorney immediately after the failed mediation and simply resigned myself to the fact that it was going to drain me financially. But I have no regrets. I am protected.

My retainer fee was 2500.00. Worth every penny.


Divorced April Fool's Day 2014

Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
-Dune


Posts: 1572 | Registered: Dec 2012
self-rescuer
♀ Member
Member # 35059
Default  Posted: 5:00 AM, December 23rd (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My retainer was $5000 - gulp.

I was given advice early to hire the best lawyer I could afford. This was laughable because my ex earned 3X what I did and an expensive lawyer seemed an impossibility. Also, I just KNEW my ex would be reasonable...

Well, my gut still told me to go with the well recommended and costly lawyer and thank you God - I did. My ex fought the divorce for months and by the end I was beyond exhausted and would have signed anything to get it over. My attorney however, was not exhausted and my husband's tricks resulted in my clever lawyer playing skilled hard ball. Yes, it was expensive but the final settlement was well worth it. Had I not had fantastic representation I don't know how I'd be able to make it month to month at this point. Oh, and there were pension issues at play here too and not all lawyers have experience with those matters so it is absolutely a question you need to ask.

If this is an attorney who has a very good track record and you felt confident about perhaps you need to bite the bullet, be creative and pay the retainer.


BW 53
WXH 55
married 26 yrs
D-Day 9-15-11

Divorce final 3-13-13

Just trust yourself, then you will know how to live.
~ Goethe


Posts: 490 | Registered: Mar 2012 | From: the south
StrongAlone
♀ Member
Member # 39564
Default  Posted: 8:36 AM, December 23rd (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I guess I'll be the sole voice for mediation...although it really depends what kind of mediation. We first tried the free kind through the government and it was holy hell. She let us argue and yell at each other and it was completely awful. I then had a $400 consult with a lawyer, huge waste of money in my opinion as she told me we really had no assets to fight over and I may or may not get spousal support. I was not impressed.

So now what we are doing is called Directed Mediation and the way it works is they run the show but you both put in your input. The first few meeting were us all together but I actually liked it because he took a lot of time going over "How to communicate with each other respectfully" and "things to do" like keep new relationships discreet. When he talked to me about spousal support he said there was a big range in what I could expect but never said that I might not get anything. He said we would just present WH with a few different options.

Anyways, everyones situation is different. I'm dealing with one hell of a good liar but he is also someone who cares about his appearance in front of other people and I'm going to use that to my advantage. The last thing I wanted was him getting a lawyer. I feel like I have more say this way and I feel like I have educated myself enough to know if I'm being taken advantage of or not.

This has only just begun though so I'll report back!


Me (BS) 39 Him (WH, SA, covert NPD) 40
Married 8 years, 2 young kids
DD1-Right after engagement 2004
DD2-Email from OW 2008
DD3-2012-Him diagnosed with cancer, I thought we grew closer, he kept cheating.
Divorcing.

Posts: 75 | Registered: Jun 2013 | From: Canada
Chrysalis123
♀ Member
Member # 27148
Default  Posted: 9:34 AM, December 23rd (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My attorney however, was not exhausted and my husband's tricks resulted in my clever lawyer playing skilled hard ball. Yes, it was expensive but the final settlement was well worth it. Had I not had fantastic representation I don't know how I'd be able to make it month to month at this point.

THIS...100 times over...

X is NPD. Impossible to nail jello to the wall so mediation was a waste of money.


Donít get to the end of your life and find that you lived only the length of it; live the width of it as well.†

Posts: 2608 | Registered: Jan 2010
JellyGirl84
♀ Member
Member # 41717
Default  Posted: 4:10 PM, December 23rd (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Abba dad,

You said, "An amicable divorce in which two mature decent people simply grew apart calls for mediation without attorneys. Mediation in the context of infidelity makes no sense to me: you are dealing with a liar, a cheater, someone who has no regard for you. Why would one expect less in mediation?"

I agree. That's why I get this funny feeling when my husband keeps saying he 'doesn't want trouble' (already is) he 'wants it clean and fair' (too late for that)).

I already let him back into the house to get his tools which probably cost a pretty penny...and he didn't fail to forget the bottle of Dom Perignon given to us by a guest at our wedding. Fucker.


Me: BS 30
WH: 30
No kids
Together 10 yrs, Married for 3 of those yrs
OP: Ho worker
No real remorse once I kicked him out.

Posts: 96 | Registered: Dec 2013 | From: Nj
Abbondad
♂ Member
Member # 37898
Default  Posted: 4:39 PM, December 23rd (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I agree. That's why I get this funny feeling when my husband keeps saying he 'doesn't want trouble' (already is) he 'wants it clean and fair' (too late for that)).

I got pretty much the same words. (Words, always words.) That wonderful spirit of fairness did not last long. Did he "play clean and fair" in your marriage? (Rhetorical question:-)

Protect yourself. I'm sorry to be so cynical, but I tried this route too.


Divorced April Fool's Day 2014

Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
-Dune


Posts: 1572 | Registered: Dec 2012
neverwillhapn2me
♂ Member
Member # 41912
Default  Posted: 7:54 PM, January 9th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Devastatedmom<

What would you say the average price to retain a Lawyer in Ontario is?


The saddest thing about betrayal is it never comes from your enemies


If your searching for that one person that will change your life, look in the mirror.


Posts: 142 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: Ontario
littlefoggy
♀ Member
Member # 41429
Default  Posted: 7:59 PM, January 9th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

3000 is what my lawyer takes. Yikes.

I am not ruling mediation out... in my magical world with butterflies and rainbows where my husband hasn't lost his damn mind. But I am still going to have my lawyer.


Me: BW 30
WH 37
DDay 11/12/13
Divorcing

Posts: 486 | Registered: Nov 2013
badmedicine
♀ Member
Member # 41692
Default  Posted: 8:24 PM, January 9th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Here's another vote for a lawyer. If I were getting a "regular" divorce I would try mediation. Or even do it with my STBXH since presumably we would agree and would both have a conscience. However....that doesn't seem to be the case here. I think it is hard for the BS to admit that the WS is capable of more torture since we are still trying to wrap our minds around what has happened to get to this point. Try to separate it. Protect yourself, if nothing else from further manipulation tactics. My STBXH has also started the "Let's leave lawyers out of this. I don't want to spend more money than we need to. I thought we would work on this ourselves if it was necessary". Well, guess what ? I thought when we promised to love, honor, and cherish that you wouldn't have been texting OW THAT DAY to say you wished she was there instead of me. I guess we all have our misperceptions.

LAWYER UP. My attorney isn't that expensive but she is smart and honest. We don't have a very complicated divorce though, so I don't need someone to stick it to him, just to protect me and keep me separated and moving along.

Good luck!!


"The wishbone will never replace the backbone." -Will Henry
"This wasn't just plain terrible, this was fancy terrible. This was terrible with raisins in it." -Dorothy Parker

Posts: 176 | Registered: Dec 2013 | From: United States
one2ndchance
♀ Member
Member # 14759
Default  Posted: 8:25 PM, January 9th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I WISH my lawyer's retainer was only $3,000. I had to pay mine a $10,000 retainer because of the complicated finances our 25 year marriage produced. I put it on a joint credit card so STBX would have to pay half.

Your pension plan is at stake, so I can't stress enough how important it is for you to have legal counsel. That bank account with his mother is at stake also. All the money in it BEFORE you married is his sole property. Any money he contributed AFTER you married is community property. You are going to need all the statements and unless he willingly hands them over to you, you will need an attorney to demand he hand them over. Also, if you make more money than he, you may have to pay support. And if you think he's hiding funds, it's possible that he was skimming money off your finances while he paid those bills.

I know how you feel...it killed me to spend this kind of money, but you need to protect yourself. Choose your lawyer carefully. Choosing the cheapest one isn't always the best.

Also, educate yourself on the law. Go to your state's website and read up on divorce laws.

When you finally choose a lawyer, go prepared with as much information as you can. Make your own copies to give him/her, because they charge you for every little thing...phone calls, emails, postage, copying, etc.

I agree with the other posters....he may be saying he wants to be "fair and clean," but he's a CHEATER....and we all know they are never "fair and clean."


Me: BW 59
Him: STBXWH 61
Married: 25 years
DDay1: 2/2002; DDay2: 6/2012
Gave him his second chance and he blew it.
Divorcing

Posts: 479 | Registered: May 2007 | From: California
sleepless34
♀ Member
Member # 40274
Default  Posted: 8:47 PM, January 9th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hi,
I am in the same boat. I am thinking of actually doing the mediation, but I will still be using my lawyer to help advise me on how to do it and what I should get and such. It may save on some costs, but I would NEVER go into mediation without a lawyer helping me behind the scenes as my STBX is a lying, cheating shithead and he will be trying to play me.

I have had a lawyer since I got served. The retainer was $5K, my STBX's was $7500. He said, "oh, I don't want to get a lawyer, I want to work it out" and he had already signed a retainer with that lawyer, so DO NOT believe him if your gut is telling you something else.

At first when he suggested mediation I said HELL NO. I don't trust you and you can deal with my lawyer. Now, I am 5 months in, have spend $2500 against my $5000 retianer and we haven;t even had one hearing yet. Expensive. At this point, I am more agreeable to do mediation, but I will not go into it without being counseled by my lawyer prior and during thh process. I am an asskicking mofo these days and he is cowardly weasel faced pussy, so the actual negotiation I am not afraid of him one on one at all. I prefer that over putting my fate with a judge in this 50/50 biased state. If I know what I am asking for and what I will not concede on, I should be okay.

Has anyone done it this way??


Me BW- 40ish, awesome
Cheating scusband 40ish
2 kids, elementary school age
Bomb dropped Aug 4 out of nowhere...

Posts: 443 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Hell
ItHappened2Me2
♀ Member
Member # 32503
Default  Posted: 8:50 PM, January 9th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The attorney I will probably be hiring ha a $2500 retainer and charges $300/hour and bills in 6 minute increments.

I was told that a mediator would cost at least $600 for each side - and then it is still advisable to have an attorney review any agreements.

I'm going with the attorney and we will make our proposals and wait for the answer. My WH and I have already decided on most of the asset distribution. I will also be proposing splitting the debt 50/50. The only negotiation we have is the kids. And I think I'll get my way on that one -- but he won't like it.

I would recommend you hire your own attorney. A mediator is there to get an agreement between the two of you -- not protect your interests and you know your WH isn't going to protect your interests. So hire someone who is there to work for YOU!


BS - me (52); WS - him (52)
DD 15yo, DS 11 yo
Married 25 years (together 27+/-)
DDay #1 - March 18, 2011
DD #2 (after 3 + month TT and false R -- the affair had gone underground) - June 28,2011
DD3: June 19, 2013 - he started up again with the

Posts: 241 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: Texas
StrongAlone
♀ Member
Member # 39564
Default  Posted: 9:55 PM, January 9th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Ok but there are good mediators and there are bad mediators, just the same as lawyers. My take on it was that I know my STBXWH is too damn lazy to know what the laws are and what his rights are. I felt like the last thing I wanted was him having someone on his side in court fighting, and riling him all up about his rights. Maybe my case is simple because all our retirement money is all in real estate so it's just a 50/50 split. But please also remember that if this goes to court, a judge will also be the one deciding on custody rights and from what I hear they like to go 50/50 unless your STBX is literally in jail. Consider the bigger picture. I don't think you have to have your rights trampled all over just because you don't chose to have a lawyer. But trust me, I'll be the first to let you all know if my mediation process doesn't work out!!


Me (BS) 39 Him (WH, SA, covert NPD) 40
Married 8 years, 2 young kids
DD1-Right after engagement 2004
DD2-Email from OW 2008
DD3-2012-Him diagnosed with cancer, I thought we grew closer, he kept cheating.
Divorcing.

Posts: 75 | Registered: Jun 2013 | From: Canada
GreatRoleModel
♀ Member
Member # 36809
Default  Posted: 9:56 PM, January 9th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

We each had our own attorney then went to mediation with our respective attorneys. I had to pay a $10K retainer and he paid the mediator, he was the high wage earner not sure how much it was. I still am paying attorney fees to settle up the last of the financials even though we have an agreement and decree was signed by the judge. The QDROs and the wording have taken a very long time with many exchanges between our attorneys. I have spent over 30K total but we had pensions, 401k's, rental property and SS and CS to figure out thru mediation. Still cheaper than a trial and felt I had someone looking out for me versus a collaborative approach. Good luck


BS (me)
XWS (him) NPD
DIVORCED!!!
It takes a village to deal with the village idiot!

Posts: 292 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: NC
Topic Posts: 22
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