Cooperative isn't a word frequently used to describe divorce. But a local firm is offering couples who want to split an option that is somewhere between battling it out in court and doing it themselves.
Cooperative Divorce Solutions takes on clients that aren't represented by attorneys, and helps them divide assets and work out child visitation outside of the courtroom. Mediators work to find an arrangement that satisfies everyone involved.
“You don't have to go the litigated route. You don't have to go the do-it-yourself route. There's this middle of the road option,” said Jaime Schultheis, one of the firm's mediators.
The arrangement worked well for Melissa Schrupp, who divorced this year.
“We first tried to file ourselves to save money, but we couldn't agree and I felt like I didn't know the law or my rights,” she said. Then, she hired an attorney, but the process slowed down and got more expensive.
“I researched mediators and found that might be the fastest and most peaceful and affordable solution,” she said.
The cost of a mediated divorce starts at $800, which is less than what an attorney would charge.