Interview on Let’s Talk Divorce!

The Divorce Rate is 50% … Or is It?
September 19, 2017
looking for a divorce attorney
Hire a Divorce Attorney? Think Twice.
June 27, 2020

Listen to Michael Heath’s Interview with Stewart Andrew Alexander on Let’s Talk Divorce!

Michael Heath was invited to speak with Stewart Andrew Alexander on the popular radio segment of Let’s Talk Divorce in April of 2017. The topics discussed in this interview are still relevant today. Please listen to the audio below.

AUDIO

Listen to “MICHAEL HEATH – The Courtless Divorce NJ” on Spreaker.

In the interview, Michael Heath discusses the alternatives to divorce litigation, including:

  • Mediation
  • Collaborative Law
  • Arbitration

The discussion focused on the mission of TheCourtlessDivorce.com which is to make the public aware of the option to divorce without using litigation attorneys. Litigation is an adversarial process that can cost the couple much, both emotionally and financially. In the “Let’s Talk Divorce” conversation, Heath gives examples of divorcing couples who stayed out of court using other methods to end their marriage that made much more sense.

Let’s Talk Divorce VIDEO-Audio

The interview is also on the Impact Makers Radio YouTube channel!

Michael Heath the author of The Courtless Divorce book. Buy the book to learn more about the alternatives to divorce litigation.

More about Let’s Talk Divorce!

Stewart Andrew Alexander is the interviewer on “Let’s Talk Divorce!” Alexander is a business consultant, author, and talk show host. His book Credibility Breakthroughs was an Amazon best-seller. For more on Alexander, go to Impact Makers Radio on www.ImpactMakersRadio.com : and  www.StewartAndrewAlexander.com.

Let’s Talk Divorce Transcript

Stewart Andrew Alexander of Let’s Talk Divorce:
On this segment of the show, I have directory coordinator, Michael Heath of The Courtless Divorce, LLC. Michael is calling in from New Jersey. He has a wealth of knowledge in the area of divorce and we’ll be talking to him today about how people can save money and emotional turmoil by using alternatives to divorce litigation. Now that sounds like a really interesting topic so let’s not keep him waiting any longer, Michael, welcome to the show!

Michael, thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to come and speak with our listeners now let’s jump straight in, can you briefly describe the people who you serve and the kinds of situations they find themselves in when they come to you for your help.

Michael Heath of The Courtless Divorce:
Well, the people that are my, my audience would really be people who are in failing marriages and considering a divorce. The mission of my business is to bring awareness about the concepts of alternatives to divorce litigation. When most people find themselves in a bad marriage and are thinking about getting a divorce … they run out and they hire a lawyer, and then then the spouse hires a lawyer and then they fight it out in court and it costs a lot of money, causes a lot of emotional turmoil, and it quickly becomes very costly mentally and financially and emotionally. So what I do is try to let people know that there are other ways to divorce, you don’t have to go the legal litigation way.

The primary examples would be mediation, Collaborative Law, and possibly using some sort of arbitration. Hiring a divorce coach is another possibility to save money and is a great way for people to feel like somebody is on their side and helping them out.

With mediation and Collaborative Law, there’s a spirit of working things out rather than fighting things out.

When I got divorced I just went out and hired a litigator I didn’t even know what mediation was I had never even heard of Collaborative Law. So these are the things that I’m really trying to get out to the public kind of preach the gospel of alternatives to divorce litigation.

Stewart Andrew Alexander of Let’s Talk Divorce:

Think about those people who walk you through your door and are looking for your help, can you just share with us one or two examples of some of the most common misconceptions surrounding saving money and the emotional turmoil that’s involved in divorce by using alternatives to divorce litigation.

Michael Heath – on the misconceptions of divorce mediation:
A lot of people don’t know what divorce mediation is, or they have a fuzzy idea of what it is or they think that mediation is something that you have to do when you finally end up in court. They think that a judge forces them to do mandatory mediation. They think that when you hire a lawyer you go to court and the judge might say that you have to go to mediation to figure out your child custody. They think that’s what mediation is. But, you can go into mediation before you even file for divorce. You could go to mediation and start working things out with your spouse – before filing for divorce – and that’s one biggest misconception.

The other alternative is Collaborative Law, Collaborative Law is similar to mediation in that you’re actually trying to work out the divorce rather than fight it out. It’s not adversarial, it’s again in the spirit of working it out. But with Collaborative Law you have a four-way meeting, you have legal representation, with you in the meeting, whereas with mediation you don’t, it’s the two spouses and a mediator.

Some people choose to work with collaborative lawyers because they feel that they want somebody that has legal knowledge with them in the room. Some want somebody there to represent them. And for some, they may feel that there’s an imbalance of power – that their spouse is very, very strong-willed and, and they’re intimidated by the other person, so they want somebody who’s going to be there in the room with them. Collaborative law usually ends up being more expensive than mediation, but it’s also a lot less expensive than litigation.

Stewart Andrew Alexander of Let’s Talk Divorce:
So those are some of the misconceptions that people are just not aware of these avenues that they can go in order to end their marriage. And, of course, nothing that you’ve shared with us today is legal advice but can you share a case study or a short story of how you’ve helped someone who came to you with those challenges you just described and what kind of transformational results you were able to gain for them?

Michael Heath – discusses a courtless divorce case study:
Well, there was a couple that I wrote a blog post based on their situation, I called it the Starter Marriage Blues. The young couple fell in love and were married in their early 20s – they kind of rushed into things and it just wasn’t working out. They were going to go out and hire lawyers. I’d never dispense legal advice, but I did suggest that they at least learn about mediation. They didn’t have much in terms of assets, they hadn’t been married very long, and there were no kids involved. Their situation was a perfect example of when hiring two high priced lawyers was NOT necessary. They had a couple of issues that they did need to settle. There was a van that they owned together, it had been given to them by the grandmother of the husband but the wife always used it for work. When they went to a mediator they were able to work it out. The mediator focused the conversation on “why do you need the van” and they worked it out so that the husband sold it to the future ex-wife for a good deal. She was happy she got the van because she needed it for business. He was happy he got some money and was able to make a deposit on a car for himself. So they worked it out and it ended up being much less expensive than if they had hired lawyers and went to court. They called it a Win/Win. She won because she got the van at a good price and he won because he got some money.

Stewart Andrew Alexander of Let’s Talk Divorce:
So that was a situation where it all worked out for both parties. For all those people who are looking to save money and the emotional turmoil involved in divorce litigation – can you just share one or two of the most common unknown pitfalls that they might not be aware of but definitely should be aware of.

Michael Heath – sums up some pitfalls
Mediation should end up costing you less money than litigation because of just the way it is structured – you only have one divorce professional – the mediator. Mediators usually charge less per hour than a lawyer. And if you need another professional – like a professional on child custody or a professional on finance, in litigation each side has their own professional which makes it more expensive – everything is duplicated. But in mediation, because you’re working together, you’re getting a single professional person to come in, so rather than paying two professionals, you’re only paying for one professional. This is just one example of why mediation and collaborative law ends up being less expensive than litigation. But you asked about a pitfall – there can be a pitfall in that you could start with mediation, and for whatever reason, the couple just doesn’t work together, then you’d have to go to litigation. In that situation, you would have spent money on a mediator, and you would then have to go to litigation and literally have to start again at square one. So there, there’s a little bit of a risk there. Similar risks with collaborative lawyers, but when you hire a collaborative lawyer the law requires the collaborative lawyer to sign a disclaimer, a form that basically says that if this doesn’t pan out they will not be representing you as litigators. The law exists to give collaborative lawyers incentive to bring the divorce to an end, the practice of law does not want collaborative lawyers saying, oh, well, let’s just give this up and let’s go to litigation. The law wants Collaborative Law to work. If Collaborative Law doesn’t work out and you have to hire a litigator. The litigation team of lawyers may take some of the information from the collaborative law process but basically, you’d be starting over so there is a little bit of a risk in the sense that if it doesn’t pan out you would have spent money for no reason.

Stewart Andrew Alexander of Let’s Talk Divorce:
Well, ladies and gentlemen. He looks like a Hollywood film star, And he sounds passionate about divorce.

Michael Heath – why is he so passionate about divorce litigation alternatives? 
I am passionate about divorce because I so much believe in these alternatives to litigation. There are so many people out there getting divorced, divorce has really become an industry even more than a legal practice, it’s a multi-billion dollar industry. And people are often ruined financially and emotionally for years to come because of their divorce. So I think that they really need to at least see that there are options, and they can pick the best option for them so that they really make their best choices. You can hear it in my voice because I’m passionate about trying to help people save as much money in their situation.

Stewart Andrew Alexander of Let’s Talk Divorce:
It’s obvious that you’re very passionate about what you do what led you to work in this field.

Michael Heath – what lead him to write a book about divorce litigation alternatives?
Why did I write a book and start a website to support those looking to divorce? It was really more happenstance. I’m divorced. I just happened to bump into a friend one day and he had just gotten divorced and was very angry at the fact that he had spent so much money on his divorce and that it took so long. The divorce was finalized and he thought that in hindsight that they shouldn’t have gone through litigation. He started telling me about things that I had never heard of – mediation and Collaborative Law. So when I was just driving home it hit a nerve with me –  I had spent not nearly as much money as he had on his divorce, he was financially in a much better situation than myself, but I kept on thinking about it and so I went out and bought a book about it and another book and I just started reading about everything about the whole mediation and Collaborative Law and, more recently I’ve been learning more about divorce coaching. And so that’s how I was inspired to get involved in spreading the awareness of litigation alternatives.

So then I just decided to write a book about it, and then I thought about doing the website. The challenge was how to make someone aware of something that they didn’t know about – the plan was to get traffic to the website from people who would want to read about the book, and then I would have a directory where divorce professionals such as mediators, collaborative lawyers, and divorce coaches are listed so that if somebody wants to bring their marriage to an end they can find a mediator or Collaborative lawyer.

Stewart Andrew Alexander of Let’s Talk Divorce:
Excellent, excellent! So, Michael, it might sound a little strange but just close your eyes for a second and picture the kind of person who wants to know how to save money, and reduce the emotional turmoil involved in divorce litigation by using alternatives to divorce litigation. With that picture in mind, what would be your final thoughts that you’d like to share with that person listening right now?

Michael Heath of The Courtless Divorce – final thoughts
If you’re bringing your marriage to an end – it’s a very big thing for you, it’s a life-changing event and you really need to have as much knowledge as possible to make the best decisions. Litigation might be the best way for you but then again there might be other ways – mediation or Collaborative Law. The best way to make decisions during this very critical time in your life is with knowledge. I would suggest going to my The Courtless Divorce website and order my book of the same name. And maybe calling a divorce professional for a consultation after you’re aware of your options. Don’t just let your emotions take over and potentially ruin all your decision making by doing things very spontaneously. Sit back and really find out what is the best way.

Stewart Andrew Alexander of Let’s Talk Divorce:
How can people connect with you please share your contact details.

Michael Heath – The Courtless Divorce Website
The website is called www.TheCourtlessDivorce.com. They can go on the website to order the book – click the book tab, and either purchase the printed book or just download the book as a PDF and you can read it on your computer. And they can email me, I usually respond to emails within a day. And again, I’m not a lawyer, and so I don’t dispense legal advice. But the people in my on my in my directory are some very fine people they can go to them, or they can, again, read the book and find out what this is all about.

Stewart Andrew Alexander of Let’s Talk Divorce:
Michael, could you just expand a little bit before you go on your directory and what it actually does.

Michael Heath – The Courtless Divorce Directory
The mission of The Courtless Divorce is to make people aware of the alternatives to divorce litigation. That’s the mission. It does have a directory of mediators collaborative lawyers and divorce professionals.

There are also blog articles and Frequently Asked Questions so that you can get a quick idea of what mediation and Collaborative Law is about.
When dealing with their children during the whole divorce process.

And I also have a free PDF that they can download called My Children’s List, the list is really for parents, it gives 25 hints on things that they should be aware of to help their children during the divorce. It’s something that they can download they can put next to the nightstand or next on their desk in your office and that they can maybe glance at every, every other day, and it just gives some very simple things that when you’re going through a divorce you that the fog of our emotions becomes fog and we don’t always act rationally. But you know parents should do certain things like when you’re passing your kids off to your ex-spouse don’t get in an argument and don’t use your kids as messengers. Remember it’s not their divorce it’s your divorce.

Stewart Andrew Alexander of Let’s Talk Divorce:
Great, thank you so much for sharing that with us Michael you’ve been a great guest. Thank you so for your time today and thank you for the information. And a big thank you to you the listeners, who’ve joined us today on this very insightful and informative conversation with Michael Heath of The Courtless Divorce, LLC in New Jersey, make sure you check him. So again, my name is Stuart, Andrew Alexander, and we’ll be back shortly with some more leading divorce professionals in this hour series of let’s talk divorce conversations so until then take care. Have a great day. And we’ll talk real soon.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Comments are closed.

Free Consultation