Divorce mediation costs vary greatly. They can depend on whether you have a court ordered mediator or privately hired mediator. A divorce mediator who is privately hired can charge on an hourly or flat fee basis.
In a court ordered mediation, fees are generally set by the court. The time allotted for the court ordered mediation is generally limited. A court ordered family law mediation session is often mandated by the court in a custody case.
Many private divorce mediation fees are set on a flat fee basis where one fee is set for a complete package of services and mediation sessions. The range of services that can be included in a flat fee divorce mediation service can cover a number of areas from property distribution, support matters and/or custody, to possible assistance in the preparation of a marital settlement agreement or memorandum of understanding and/or divorce court paperwork.
A flat fee mediation service package generally assists parties in gathering documentation on the areas to be mediated and includes several mediation sessions to discuss and reach an agreement on those issues.
Flat fee mediation can also include the preparation of either a memorandum of understanding or a marital settlement agreement. A memorandum of understanding is simply a non-binding document that outlines the terms and conditions of agreement reached by the parties. The mediator does not have to be an attorney to prepare this document. A marital settlement agreement includes all of the terms and conditions of agreement reached by the parties but it is a legally binding contract that must be prepared by a mediator who is an attorney.
In both situations the parties are encouraged to consult with a separate attorney to advise each party concerning the legal terms and condition of either a memorandum of understanding or marital settlement agreement. The fee for a separate attorney is not included in flat fee mediation packages.
In addition, flat fee divorce mediation can also include assistance in the preparation of divorce documents for the court in order to obtain a final decree of divorce. Filing fees for court, appraisal fees for real estate or retirement funds and the cost for preparation of other court document such as deeds of transfer or Qualified Domestic Relations orders (QDRO) are also generally not included in the costs charged for flat fee mediation packages.
A flat fee divorce mediation package can range in cost from $6,500 to $10,000 depending on the number of issues to be discussed and settled and the complexity of the marital estate to be settled.
Some divorce mediators will offer piecemeal or unbundled services such as one mediation session to discuss one issue like support or custody or as follow up to a previously conducted large scope flat fee mediation where a new issue has arisen. The general hourly rate for such divorce mediation services ranges from $250 to $400 per hour.
Divorce mediation is generally much less expensive than divorce litigation or even the cost of two people each hiring a divorce attorney to help settle their divorce.
A private divorce mediator will often offer consultations either free of charge or for a reasonable consultation fee to discuss your case to help you decide what type of divorce mediation services best suit your situation and the divorce mediation cost for that service.
Divorce mediation costs are typically lower than the cost of litigation and mediation has many advantages, including allowing parties more control over their divorce resolution. As an attorney mediator, I offer creative solutions to meet each client’s unique legal, financial, and emotional needs. To set up a consultation or learn more about available services, contact me today at 215-470-3121.
If you are interested in a consultation to discuss the options available to resolve your divorce, custody issues, support, or equitable distribution issues, please contact me and I can help you investigate your options. Call me, Lenore M.J. Myers, at 215-470-3121 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.