Middle Class Incomes and Divorce Mediation

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediation Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsA common theory that has been doing the rounds for many years is that the American justice system is made for the wealthy. This despite not being entirely true does have some elements of truth about it. The American judicial system in unique and for couples going through a divorce it can be complex to navigate.

The laws are complex and hence spouses are dependent on divorce lawyers to win them their case. The question of how the courts have been helping the middle class spouse with low incomes in their divorce cases is a pertinent one that has no real answers.  The state budget cuts in California, for example, have meant their ability is far more limited with too many cases and not enough judicial officers.

The Affordable Divorce Solution

For spouses that are middle to low income and make up the growing American middle class, Orange County divorce mediation is a cheap and affordable alternative to courts. Mediation allows you to cut across the complexities of a family court, their case laws and statutes.

The use of mediation makes sense has far as middle class families are concerned. It will allow the spouses to be able to debate and dissect each and every issue they would have talked about in court. There is a misconception that mediation calls for people to lay down their rights as they walk into the mediation office. This is a misconception and in reality it is quite the opposite. Once you decide to pursue divorce mediation you will be able to exercise authority in terms of proceeding speed, pace and schedule of the mediation.

An Example of How Mediation can Work for Middle Class Couples

In this example both of the spouses are working and have two children. The annual earnings of the household amount to $80,000.  Out of this the husband’s share is $50,000 and the wife’s share is $30000. They jointly own a house, the house has very little equity but neither of the spouses is particularly attached to it. In addition to this, both own a car each and have 401(K) that totals $50,000 and $8000.

If these spouses hired layers to litigate their case in courts, they could potentially have to pay their lawyers somewhere in the region of $20,000-$30,000+.  Does that make sense? Not really. These expenses at the end of the day would probably leave both of the couples in debt.

If they were to go for Orange County divorce mediation instead, the total average cost would be $3,000-$5,000 depending on the complexity of the issues for the mediation proceedings and as soon as the couples reach an agreement between themselves the mediation would be over.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, “What is Divorce Mediation.”