It costs an average of $14,500 when couples file for a divorce in Colorado. The amount increases up to more than $20,000 when you have children, alimony problems or issues with property division.
However, you can choose not to spend that amount when you undergo divorce arbitration and mediation services. While each divorce case is unique, it is still useful to know just how much you will spend if you hire a divorce arbitrator and mediator instead of pursuing the case in court. For instance, an out-of-court settlement for a child custody issue would only cost around $18,200. Otherwise, it might cost as much as $25,400. This makes child custody problems as the most expensive divorce category in Colorado.
Divorce with Legal Representation
As the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act took effect this year, legal counsel will be essential to settling issues arising from a divorce. A specific change involves alimony where higher-income spouses can no longer declare it on their income tax returns. Likewise, those who earn less than their partners will now be responsible for paying the taxes from alimony payments.
This means that contested divorces can be messier because most people are not willing to pay for spousal support, even during the time that the tax treatment for alimony was not updated. It takes 17.6 months on average to complete a contested divorce, but some cases might take longer when both parties have more issues to settle before a judge.
It is not surprising then why many are dissatisfied even when the process is done since a longer timeline for a divorce settlement means more legal fees. If you and your spouse agree to the terms of your divorce right away, it could take just four months before you could be single once again and move on with your lives.
Myths About Arbitration and Mediation
Some women hesitate about mediation because it puts them at a disadvantage. On the contrary, neither you nor your spouse will have the upper hand as long as you hire a neutral third-party. In other words, you should consider the track record of divorce mediators, particularly on how they handled cases similar to your own.
This will also require you to hire a lawyer who has extensive experience in dealing with arbitration and mediation, unlike an attorney who is used to an aggressive approach for contested divorce cases. And just because your divorce is an uncontested one, it does not mean that you should negotiate the terms without a lawyer. It could quickly become a contested divorce when you feel and think that negotiations seem to be going in favor of your spouse.
In the end, couples must be willing to listen with an open mind for arbitration and mediation services to become a suitable alternative. This will significantly reduce your expenses since you no longer have to bring your case to trial. Hence, there is no need to pay for additional costs such as court filing fees, hiring expert witnesses, and other expenses.