The time and expense involved in reaching a fully-informed and durable separation agreement depends on several factors. In most cases you will find that mediation costs a fraction of what it would cost to hire two attorneys and engage in a protracted and acrimonious divorce.
Mediation costs are billed at an hourly rate. The hourly shared charge is the total fee for both parties. Because you are hiring one professional instead of two, and because the process is direct and efficient, the cost of a mediated settlement will usually be substantially less than hiring two separate attorneys.
No fee is charged for the no-obligation, private consultation after which we determine whether all parties want to proceed.
I do not charge retainers and no charges will be incurred without prior agreement.
A sliding scale, determined by your combined gross income and net worth, is available. Generally, couples with moderate net worth can expect to pay an hourly shared rate according to the table below.
I recommend that mediation sessions be scheduled in blocks of at least two hours for the most efficient use of everyone’s time. If the full time is not used you will only be charged for actual time used.
Payment for services is due at the end of each mediation session by cash, check or credit card.
The same hourly rate applies to additional services that might be provided outside of mediation sessions, including:
Review of documents;
Preparation of written materials such as progress summaries and draft agreements;
The drafting of any memorandums of understanding and/or final legal agreements;
Telephone conversations and/or email communications.
How much does a typical mediation cost?
Your cost is affected by the length of time you have been married, whether you and your spouse have accumulated a lot of property, whether or not you have children and – most importantly – where you each are, emotionally, in the separation process. Costs will also be affected by how much (or how little) work you and your spouse are interested in doing yourselves. These points determine how many mediation sessions it will take to resolve your separation and divorce.
I have found that couples who are getting along very well during their divorce – those who have been separated for some time, and/or have already devoted time and energy working through the understandable and normal hurt and anger – or those who are very unified in wanting to protect their children as much as possible from the stress of the separation – are able to resolve all of their outstanding issues the quickest.
All in all, you might expect to pay less than $1,000 to $2,500 for your share of a mediated divorce. This is far less expensive that a contested divorce that settles before trial, and much, much cheaper than a case that goes all the way to trail. A contested divorce, even one that ends in a settlement rather than a trail, might run each of you $30,000 – and that figure could easily go higher with a few added complexities.