Understanding the Cost of Mediation vs. Divorce

Mediation can expedite the divorce process by working together instead of having lawyers advocate on your behalf. A neutral, third-party mediator guides the spouses through the division of assets, custody and support issues, and any other outstanding problems. At the end of mediation, the parties come to a settlement agreement. This is filed in court for a judge’s approval—and neither party is required to make an appearance.

Because lawyers do not need to be involved, you won’t rack up billable hours and go through lengthy litigation. This makes mediation a very cost-effective approach to divorce.

How much does the average mediation cost?

According to Nolo, the average divorce mediation costs between $3,000 to $8,000. This is usually split between the couple, unless you agree otherwise. Consider that the average divorce in the United States costs $15,000 to $20,000, and it’s easy to appreciate the potential savings.

A mediator’s rates may vary depending on whether they are court-appointed, or have additional training and expertise (lawyers, marriage and family therapists and financial analysts are common). Some mediators offer flat-rate packages after they’ve evaluated your case.

The cost of mediation can go up, depending on how complex the outstanding issues are and whether you need to bring in other professionals for assistance. For example, if you own a family business, you might need a financial professional to value the business and determine each spouse’s contributions to the company. Child support and custody are also common sticking points.

Finally, you may wish to have your own attorney explain your rights and review your settlement agreement before you finalize the divorce. This adds additional expense—but the peace of mind clients get from knowing they’re getting a fair deal is often worth the cost to them.

Interested in trying mediation? Reach out to the helpful Long Island divorce meditators at Solutions Divorce Mediation to find out whether it’s right for you.

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