Nevada Collaborative Divorce
(or Mediated Divorce)
Why choose a collaborative divorce?
Collaborative Divorce in Nevada: Many divorcing couples, especially those with children, or those in longer marriages, and with property and debts to divide, find that they benefit greatly in choosing a collaborative divorce where they meet with a mediator prior to filing a divorce. It’s the smart way to divorce.
This is especially true for long-term marriages where retirement accounts are at stake, and, or, when the children are younger and co-parenting will last for many more years. Once issues have been addressed and agreed upon during mediation, the parties can proceed on to a divorce where both parties sign.
James E. Smith, Esq.
Divorce Mediation Credentials:
- Certificate from the American Bar Association in mediation, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution
- Arbitrator for the Nevada District Court’s ADR (alternative dispute resolution) program
- 20+ years of mediation experience
Cost of Mediation:
- $399 per session. Huge majority of clients need just one session.
- Savings obtained by agreeing before filing: immeasurable!
Collaborative Divorce and Issues related to children:
Through the mediation process, you’ll come to decisions regarding your children that work for both parents and, most importantly, for the children. Leaving it up to a judge in a divorce trial, as well-intentioned as she or he might be, never makes anyone happy because the decision is made by someone who knows little of you, your children, and your life.
You’ll always come out ahead when you make those decisions with the guidance of a mediator. The mediator is expected and required to keep a neutral position and to figure out how to work things so that all parties come out, if not a total winner, at least not feeling like all was lost. The idea is to make it livable for, and acceptable to, all concerned.
Collaborative Divorce and property division:
Mediation makes dividing property in a fair manner less emotionally painful and also greatly helps you to understand what’s normal and customary in a Nevada divorce under the circumstances. You’ll leave the process feeling that the community property that remains yours came to you fairly and equitably. You’ll have no nagging doubts later as to whether or not you got a fair deal. Also, you’ll feel better that you are the one who decided, rather than being awarded your own property by a judge who knows nothing of your personal circumstances.
Mediation, when you undergo the process with a licensed, experienced mediator, defuses the acrimony that often enters divorce negotiations – without mediation, a tense situation holds potential for a much worse outcome than necessary for all involved: you, your spouse, your children. The last consideration is the well-known fact that you save a lot of money by making use of the services of a mediator and agreeing on everything before filing the divorce. Neither of you benefits from paying exorbitant sums to attorneys to “fight it out” for you in court. The only winners in this case (financially) are your attorneys.
If you have children and/or property and cannot agree on your own on how to divide everything, seriously consider the services of a mediator before deciding to retain an agressive attorney intent on “papering” the other side, putting your spouse in the position of having to be equally aggressive with you. No one really wins in this type of acrimonious divorce. It should only be reverted to when all else has failed.
In many cases, just an hour or two with a mediator can resolve all of your issues and save you literally thousands of dollars in attorney fees. We’re here to help.
Mr. Smith is a licensed Nevada attorney with 18 years of divorce mediation experience. He has successfully taken many couples through a Collaborative Divorce. See the columm on the right for his Mediatior Credentials.
FAQs regarding collaborative divorce:
- Do my spouse and I have to abide by the advice of the attorney?
No. You can choose to follow the advice or not. Neither one of you is legally bound by the advice given to you during mediation.
- Do I have to be at the attorney’s office with my spouse for the mediation?
That’s up to you and your level of comfort. You can both be in the attorney’s office at the same time, or you can simply request to do the divorce mediation over the phone. The attorney will initiate a conference call with you and your spouse and hold the mediation session that way.
- Can I talk to the attorney alone before the collaborative divorce mediation?
To maintain his neutral position and to be ethically able to represent both parties in a Joint Petition Divorce following your mediation, and to ethically conduct mediation, it is not possible for the attorney to speak with either party without the other party present at any time before the mediation except for the purposes of setting up the logistics of the mediation session, which is usually done by his staff to avoid possible bias.
- What if I go through Mediation with my spouse and my spouse remains unreasonable and won’t negotiate fairly. Can Mr. Smith represent me in a Complaint for Divorce after the Mediation
Once Mr. Smith has spoken to both parties in a mediation setting, he cannot represent either party in a Complaint for Divorce (a one-signature divorce). Each party will have to find and retain different attorneys. After a mediation session, Mr. Smith can represent both parties in a joint petition divorce.
- Can either me or my spouse have the attorney’s notes from my mediation session if my spouse and I decide to not file a joint petition divorce but one of us files a one-signature divorce?
We can make the notes of the mediation session available for a joint petition divorce, but the notes cannot be used by one party against the other in a one-signature divorce.
*Court Costs currently $326 ($342 with children) for Joint Petition, and $364 for a Complaint) and cost of process service and publication (when the other party won’t sign or cannot be found) is additional: process service in Las Vegas is average $125 and in the U.S. average cost is $160; publication average $150. Out of country service costs vary by country and are individual to each case.