Megan Quinn and her ex-husband J.P. Faragher were certain of one thing when they decided to divorce: They wanted to make the process as easy as possible for their four kids. Quinn, now out as a lesbian, says it helped that there wasn't a lot of animosity between the two of them, but there were things to figure out like custody and finances.
So, they chose to skip the lawyers and the courtroom in favor of the Center for Out-of-Court Divorce, a non-profit that opened its doors in Denver this fall. Mediators at the center help create parenting and financial plans and counselors are on hand to help families with the emotional challenges.
The cost is a flat fee of $4,500 with some money available for couples who can't afford the expense. A divorce involving attorneys can cost upwards of $20,000, though if a couple chooses a professional mediator they'll pay significantly less. The benefit, Quinn says, is that the center's fee covers everything, including counseling.
Retired Denver District Court chief judge Robert Hyatt, who has been with the center since the beginning, is tasked with holding a final hearing for a divorcing couple. He says compared to the divorces he's seen in court this is a far less adversarial option.
Hyatt and Quinn, who finalized her divorce earlier this year, speak with Ryan Warner.