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Saratoga Divorce Mediation - Michele Martin

Divorce Mediation News

How much does mediation cost?

Litigated Divorce

Hiring opposing attorneys to “win” your divorce is an expensive endeavor. In fact, according to Parade Magazine, the estimated cost of a litigated divorce where each side is represented by his or her own attorney is between $20,000 and $50,000. And a Wall Street Journal article on the subject estimated the cost of a litigated divorce to be between $27,000 to $78,000. That’s per person, and that’s a lot of resources wasted “fighting it out” and creating an environment of ongoing mistrust. These funds used for litigation would otherwise be available for you and your children.

Even when a litigated divorce is settled before trial, it often becomes necessary to file proceedings, appear for depositions (sworn testimony before the opposing attorney), and to pay fees for experts on childcare issues and/or finances. Any way you slice it; these costs add up and can quickly become quite prohibitive. With litigation, a non-refundable retainer is typically advanced to the attorneys, which can range from $5,000 to $15,000 for each of you. And if you do end up in a trial, charges for attorneys fees alone can accumulate very quickly well beyond these initial amounts.

n our practice, we charge a per session fee, which is typically shared between the parties, and which is ordinarily inclusive of reasonable emails or phone calls that may arise outside of the session. Each session typically lasts two hours, although sessions may extend somewhat beyond this if needed to bring resolution to an issue that is being discussed. The total fees in a mediated separation or divorce will generally be significantly less than litigation, typically falling between, $3,000 – $7,000 for both of you combined. Sessions are paid as you go until a settlement is reached. A flat fee is then charged for drafting a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which forms the basis of the parties’ Agreement.

Mediation is therefore a fraction of the total cost per couple, when compared to litigation. So much less in fact that the most expensive mediated separation or divorce is still far less expensive than the most inexpensive litigated one.

I offer an initial consultation at no charge to explain the process of mediation and to answer any questions you may have about the process.