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, you have options:

  • Divorce Mediation (up to 90% less expensive than hiring 2 lawyers): A good divorce mediator will walk you through the process with compassion, help you reach the best solution possible, get all the docs prepared and filed, and complete your divorce quickly.  This typically averages at $7,500-$8,500+ with Affordable Mediation.  For more complex financial portfolios, a collaborative mediation team is often involved, including a divorce coach, a financial neutral, a retirement specialist and/or attorney consultants, if needed.  These Collaborative Team Mediation© (CTM© ) services are offered through Modern Mediation, Affordable Mediation’s boutique division for the more sophisticated financial estate.
  • Hire Lawyers: Each of you hires your own attorney and pays, on average, $40,000-$100,000+ ($20,000-$50,000+ EACH). And that may not include a trial. If you go to trial, you could be looking at significantly higher costs.
  • Collaborative Divorce: Work with two attorneys, a financial neutral, and one or two divorce coaches.  The idea is to work agreements out with your team, instead of litigating.  Average collaborative divorces start at approximately $60,000.
  • Document Preparation: Hire a professional to prepare the documents for you and file them in court. You don’t have to be involved with the court at all.  With Affordable Mediation, this will typically cost $4,500+ ($3,500+ without minor children).  This includes our “Mediation Lite©” service where you will also receive an up-to-1-hour Zoom mediation session and mediator guidance and support start to finish.
  • DIY: You prepare the documents, pay the court filing fees, and file in court on your own. This is free (except for court filing fees, which you pay with all options).
  • Court, notary and courier fees:  These are additional fees you will pay regardless of which service you choose.  The court has its own filing fees.  Notary charges vary as do courier fees.

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 15 years as a Divorce Mediator, over 30 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-$680 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.