The Costs of Divorce and Divorce Mediation

Divorce doesn’t have to wipe out your bank accounts. As you make your decision how to proceed, this table can illustrate the cost savings and value of Mediation vs Litigation:

Affordable Mediation vs Attorneys

Affordable Mediation
Starting at $6,800

(Doc Prep Only: $4,500-$5,500)

Attorneys
$40,000 – $100,000+

Type of Process

Affordable Mediation

Collaborative* Amicable *Peaceful

Attorneys

Adversarial* Win-Lose* Lengthy Battle

Time Frame

Affordable Mediation

Typically 3-5 Months

Attorneys

Typically 12-36 Months

Process

Affordable Mediation

Collaborative Mediation Sessions with your shared Mediator
No Involvement with the Court

You both make all decisions

Attorneys

2 Separate Attorneys, Discovery, Hearings (Court Appearances), Motions, Expert Witnesses, Depositions

Judge makes all your decisions unless your attorneys negotiate a settlement

Fees Include

Affordable Mediation

Mediator Fees for 1 – 4 sessions, preparation and follow-up summary, preparation and filing of your initial court documents, preparation of your Property Settlement Agreement, Consent Decree, Parenting Plan, Child Support Order and associated documents and exhibits, revisions, research, coordinating with your other professionals (retirement, trust, accounting), if applicable, finalization of all of your Decree documents, email/text/phone correspondence, follow-up and closing

Attorneys

Attorney time, expert witness fees, court fees, admin fees, assistant fees, email feels, phone fees, document review and drafting fees – usually billed in 10-minute intervals

Value

Affordable Mediation

Maintain Friendship
Amicable Co-parenting
Gentler Process
Keeps Communication Open
Quicker (Value Your Time)
Move Towards Peace
Maintain Control
Maximize Financial Resources
Support Throughout

Attorneys

100s of Hours
Each Side Trying to Win the War Breakdown in Communication
Negative Impact on Couple, Family, Kids
Lengthy Stressful
Overwhelming
Can Take an Emotional Toll
Very Expensive – Financial Burden

Attorney Involvement

Affordable Mediation

If Needed (Trust, Family, Business)

Attorneys

100% Involved – billing for every step, email, call, review, motion, hearing, drafting

Not All Mediators Are the Same

For most couples, Divorce Mediation is the preferred way to go over hiring separate divorce attorneys. Once you make that decision, it’s important to hire the right divorce mediation firm. You want a Divorce Mediation attorney who is:

  1. Experienced: You want the confidence to know that your divorce is being handled by a skilled, experienced expert. With over 16 years as a Divorce Mediator, over 31 years as an Arizona licensed Attorney and having a background in Counseling Psychology, we have experienced quite a bit and that experience can be helpful for you during the process.  Additionally, we have prepared thousands of contracts and have expertise that other less experienced or non-licensed attorney mediators may not have.  Your divorce settlement agreement is one of the most important contracts you will enter, so you want assurance it’s drafted properly by a professional.
  2. Compassionate: Imagine completing your divorce with compassion and dignity. A good mediator brings that compassion to the table.
  3. Dedicated to Successful Mediation: Many divorce mediation attorneys are part of a larger law firm not focused on mediation. It’s just one service offered among a list of other legal services. You want a divorce mediator who is focused on only mediation and associated services.
  4. Positive Psychology Approach:  A divorce mediator who has a background in psychology can bring the human element to your divorce, providing a caring and supportive environment where you can feel heard.

Schedule a Consultation Today. Call 602-714-7447.

Do You Need a Lawyer to Get Divorced?

No, you don’t need a lawyer to get divorced. You can do this yourself. You can either prepare all of the documents yourself or hire a firm to prepare them for you. In both cases, you will need to file those documents with the courts. The costs associated include court filing fees ($623-$700 in Maricopa County) and document preparation fees. You run a few risks with a DIY divorce, including:

  • Making a not-so-clean break: You’re likely to forget some important items that will linger and cause further negotiations and interactions with your spouse.
  • Less than equitable future: The great thing about having over two decades of divorce mediation experience is that we get to see the long-term results. That makes us better at creating a divorce agreement that takes care of both parties long-term. A DIY divorce runs the risk of an inequitable split.
  • More fighting: You’ll be doing all of this with your spouse, rather than through a professional mediator. That typically opens wounds and creates contention.
  • Mistakes and Do-Overs: The court process is complicated. It can be a maze if you don’t know how to navigate it.

Still Have Questions?

Give us a call today. We’re happy to talk with you, answer your questions, and help you make the best decision on which way to go about getting your divorce.  Call us at 602-714-7447.

Download our Divorce Mediation Checklist to help you get prepared.