Edward Sachs CPA/ABV CFF

I just completed a pro bono matter in the 11th Judicial Circuit Model Collaborative Program in Judge Sarah Zabel’s division. We were able to help a young couple with one child get through the final part of their divorce in a very peaceful fashion. But as our team debriefed and completed the FACP survey, the cost of a Collaborative divorce became very evident to me. In this matter, there was no equitable distribution or alimony, just child support and parenting issues, most of which they had already put in place. Even if the four professionals had charged reduced rates, I estimate the billing would have been close to $10,000. There is just no way around it when you have four professionals.

On the billing side, I recently completed one Collaborative case in which my bill, in addition to the two attorneys’, were each around $8,000, and the facilitator’s bill was $6,000. These parties were excellent Collaborative team members and had no children that were minors. The case was settled in an unconventional way that would not happen in Court. Because of unusual circumstances, there is no question this matter would have cost the parties two to three times more in litigation.

And finally, I had another recent case with total fees of more than $130,000. The two attorneys were about $100,000, I was around $20,000, and the facilitator was $10,000. To me, the fact that the attorney’s fees were so much is indicative of the client problems and the difficulty of the issues. In litigation, this case would be ripe for much higher forensic accounting fees, and the issues could have gotten nasty. The team, in our debrief, agreed that the matter would have cost at least twice as much in litigation.
So, the answer is that a Collaborative divorce is not cheap, but in my opinion and experience, it is certainly cheaper.My advice to those who can’t afford a Collaborative divorce and don’t qualify for pro bono programs is to consider Financial Mediation. Learn more as I discuss Financial Mediation on Monday.


As times change, so do the way younger people see marriage. It is no longer seen as the next step in life after college. Millenials are taking time after school to grow on their own before settling down with a spouse. At what age should we really consider getting married? While there is no exact answer, studies have shown that couples getting married in their early 30’s have the best chance of sticking together for the long-haul.

Even though every relationship is different and there is no perfect formula for a successful marriage, there are life experience factors that can help ensure a peaceful marriage for many years.

CLICK HERE to read the entire article on the perfect age to get married.


Whether you are a fan of The Beatles or not, most people were certainly fans of this great ballad that was written by Paul McCartney. Did you know that this song was written for Julian, the son of John Lennon, during Lennon’s divorce from his first wife?

CLICK HERE to read more about what inspired the song “Hey Jude” and enjoy this great tune to brighten up your day.