EP 5: Should You Use Mediation or Litigation For Your Divorce?

Welcome to the fifth episode of Divorce and Your Money Podcast. Your host, Shawn Leamon, MBA and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, discusses the process of getting divorced through mediation.

Some couples find mediation as a useful way to get divorced. Mediation involves hiring a neutral third party, such as a retired judge, who will help you resolve specific issues of contention in your divorce or help negotiate the whole process. Both you and your spouse must agree to use a mediator, and one problem with mediation is that it is nonbinding.

The biggest advantage of mediation is that it can be a quick and less formal method of getting divorced. It can also help minimize certain issues and acrimony. Since court dates are not involved, mediation can resolve a divorce faster than through litigation.

The nonbinding element of mediation is a double-edged sword, as it can sometimes be a waste of time and money. Another disadvantage is that it is not appropriate in all cases. If you and your spouse have serious issues, mediation is not the right path for you to follow.

You should be aware, though, that mediation will likely save you some money. It is an efficient way to navigate the divorce process and doesn’t involve a lot of court paperwork. It is not as public as other options, and it does not bind you.

Key Learning Points:

  • Mediation is fast and less formal.
  • Mediation can be less expensive than litigation.
  • Mediation is more private.
  • Decisions are nonbinding, although that could be a problem.
  • In some cases, mediation is not appropriate.

Thank you for listening to the Divorce and Your Money Podcast. We hope the show helps you through one of the most difficult periods of your life. Shawn Leamon is also the author of Divorce and Your Money: The No Nonsense Guide. One-on-one divorce coaching services are available at www.divorceandyourmoney.com.

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Shawn Leamon, MBA, CDFA

Dallas, Texas

Shawn C. H. Leamon is Managing Partner of LaGrande Global, a firm that helps successful families manage large financial transitions like divorce, inheritance and selling a business.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College, double majoring in Economics and Philosophy, and his Masters in Business Administration at Spain’s IE Business School.

Before founding LaGrande Global, Shawn helped manage $1.1 billion in client assets at Bernstein Global Wealth Management. He also worked as a credit research analyst at J.P. Morgan. He is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, and he has been an advisor to numerous high-stakes divorce cases.

Shawn is the author of two well-received finance books: Managing Private Wealth: Principles, and Divorce and Your Money: The No-Nonsense Guide, both published in 2016.

In his spare time, Shawn is an ultra-endurance athlete and has competed in events as long as 24 hours. He is an Eagle Scout and a member of the Alumni Board of Greenhill School.