Colleen McNamee is interviewd by Dino of Money Matters to discuss about Financial Infidelity. Colleen owns a divorce mediation business in Orange County, California. This article is a transcipt of the 5th video of Colleen’s interview, which discusses the shocking facts about divorce.
Shocking Facts About Divorce in Orange County, California
Divorce rate in California is how much now?
Well, in 2013 (we told everybody in 2014 that the statistics said 75%), but just based on how busy I am, I would say that we probably are still in that ball park for sure.
Yes. Staggering number.
That’s absolutely insane to me. Are there any statistics that, you know, talk about the financial consequence of a divorce? Is there an average cost or anything like that?
Well, again, I’m hoping we’ll do a future show here on this with the new 2014 statistics. But the average litigated divorce costs a hundred thousand dollars on each side. So a total of 200,000 dollars. And it can take anywhere from a year and a half to 3 years to sometimes longer just depending on the complexity of the case, your attorney’s schedules, the court calendar, and there’s so many variables that are involved that can really drag that out and make it last a long time.
So let’s print that down because I can’t really imagine a divorce on each side costing a hundred thousand dollars just to litigate. There’s got to be more into that equation. Is it also selling of a home or splitting assets? Or is that just the true cost of legal fees?
That’s usually the true cost of legal fees. On there, maybe a forensic accountant involved in that scenario, and that can be expensive. Or a quadro meeting to be done to divide a pension plan. So it’s all divorce related. It does not necessarily mean that all that money’s going in the attorney’s pocket, but it’s related to the conclusion of that divorce.
Wow! I don’t even know how people can afford to get a divorce.
You would think that with the financial consequences that a divorce carriers, that people would figure out how to stick it out and not get to that level
Or, use mediation as an alternative because it’s much more cost-effective.
Okay. So let’s talk about that for a second. Mediation, as I know it and as you explained earlier, but just a recap, is basically the couple to jointly go to one person and talking about whatever their issues are and try to revolve something. Do they, in mediation, come in with their needs or a list of their wants? Or do they come mostly and say, “Colleen, tell us what we deserve because we can’t decide on our own.”
It’s probably a little bit of a combination of both. Sometimes people will come in and say, “We’ve already talked about X, Y, and Z, and we know what we want to do with that. So we have these outstanding issues that are D, E, and F and we’re going to need your help with that.” And sometimes they’d come in and they have no idea what to discuss, because this is the first time their doing it. And I’ll guide them through the process and they usually do it issue by issue so that it doesn’t get as overwhelming.
And before the show, we talked a little bit about other mediation companies, and you were actually kind of shocked yourself as to how little they do in comparison to what you do. Break that down for us and explain what a good mediator should do for you all.
Okay. Some things that you should look for ideally working with an attorney-mediator, because they can give legal advice. And that’s huge when you’re going through the divorce process. You need to have someone there who can tell you what the law says and explain it to you. So that’s first and foremost that I think people should look for. You want it to be as much as a one-stop shop as possible, so that you are working primarily with your mediator. You’re not also having to go meet with a financial adviser to figure out how to divide a 4O1K or pro-rate a pension. You’re not having to go work with a CPA to figure out whether or not you should be claiming your child on your taxes, or your spouse should. Or who’s going to claim the tax deductions for the home, and things like that. And those are all things that I provide as part of my service. And then I even go so far as to have my notary certification so that we don’t need to bring in a notary at the final signing. And I’m just able to do everything. And it really make things easier for my clients. Those are things that you should look for when you’re looking for a mediator.
Part Five – Business is good for divorce mediators. And divorce mediate is good for people seeking a divorce. Learn several key facts about California divorces that will make you think differently about marriage, divorce and the best way to navigate through these life changing experiences. Colleen McNamee runs a divorce mediation service in Orange County California.