Two Nebraska doctors used a mediator to draft their property settlement in their divorce case. The property settlement agreement was ambiguous.
The former spouses then both hired lawyers and went to court in order to interpret the agreement. The Douglas County district court judge ruled, but it was appealed to the Nebraska Supreme Court. The case was then decided last week.
I recall a poster in workplaces that was popular in my youth: Why is there never enough time to do it right the first time but always enough time to do it right later?
The doctors probably thought they were saving money by hiring a mediator. They surely ended up spending more money to sort out what should have been done right the first time.
Estate planning can be complicated. Sometimes hiring a lawyer is cheaper in the long run. This is especially true if you own real estate and don’t have a revocable living trust. Probate is a time consuming and costly process; even in Nebraska.
Source: Carlson v. Carlson, 299 Neb. 526 (April 6, 2018).