There’s no doubt that going through a divorce is emotionally painful, and being forced to resolve your divorce through the courts makes it even worse. Is there an alternative to the costly and time-consuming process of a public court battle if you’re getting divorced?
Yes. Many couples have chosen divorce mediation as an alternative, which is usually cheaper than a court battle. How much does a divorce mediator cost? Well, the price varies by your location and the circumstances of your divorce.
This article will give you information on the average costs of a divorce mediator, the fee structure, and other common questions about successfully mediating a divorce.
Invest in your future with divorce financially
Here at Divorce Financially in Edina, Minnesota, we’ve helped thousands of couples amicably mediate their divorce without going to court. We offer wise financial planning through your entire divorce mediation, giving you the tools to make sound financial decisions and invest in your future.
Most of the decisions you’ll make in your divorce will be finance-related. For that reason, it’s critical to have a professional on your side who can act as a neutral third party and assist you during this challenging time in your life.
What is divorce mediation?
The primary purpose of choosing divorce mediation is to find an alternative to a costly and time-consuming court battle. However, many couples also choose mediation so they can work through their problems and come to an amicable agreement with each other.
During divorce mediation, a neutral third party called a mediator will sit down with you and your spouse to help you work through the critical issues in your divorce. Four types of divorce mediation include:
- Private Mediators
- Attorney Mediators
- Court-Ordered Mediation
- Community Mediation
Additional information about divorce mediation
Most mediation sessions occur in an informal, non-confrontational setting, usually at the mediator’s office. Many people who choose mediation still hire a divorce lawyer, but they also attend sessions in the hopes that they can come to a mutual agreement on the issues in their divorce, rather than asking a judge to decide.
We also want to be clear on one other piece of information: Divorce mediators don’t have the final say in the outcome of your divorce. Instead, they work with both parties to create a marital settlement agreement. They’ll also work hard to facilitate understanding and cooperation between the divorcing couple.
You’ll also have to come to agreements on other important aspects. For example, if you have kids, you’ll need to develop a parenting plan. Parenting plans concern the welfare of the children, which parent will have primary custody, and child support obligations for both parents.
Unfortunately, divorce mediation isn’t an option for couples with a history of domestic violence. If your marriage has a history of abuse, you should seek legal advice from an attorney specializing in family law.
how much should you expect to pay for divorce mediation services?
You’re wanting to know how much a mediator will cost. The answer to that question varies on several factors, like your location, the type of divorce mediator services you choose, and how complicated your divorce is.
Suppose you browse the attorney listings and hire a lawyer mediator with a practice area in divorce law. In that case, your mediation sessions will usually cost anywhere from $250 per hour to $500 per hour. Keep in mind that it may take several sessions to reach an agreement with your soon-to-be-former spouse.
If you choose a CDFA (Certified Divorce Financial Analyst) as your private mediator, the divorce mediation cost and hourly rates should range from $150 per hour to $350 per hour, depending on their experience and skill level.
Your region of the country will also affect your divorce mediation cost. For example, metropolitan areas may charge more for private divorce mediation services. However, urban areas are more likely to have a community mediator or even nonprofit organizations offering a sliding scale or even free services.
total costs of divorce mediation
Your total cost will range from a minimum of $1000 and upwards for the divorce mediation process. In most cases, each spouse pays half of the total mediation costs. However, most couples pay between $3,000 and $8,000 for a complete mediation.
Typical rates for private mediators also include an initial set-up fee, which is usually around $250. In comparison, going through the court system can cost more than $15,000, and for complicated, high net-worth divorces, sometimes more than $100,000.
what is the typical fee structure?
Private mediators, community mediators, and lawyer mediators have varying fee structures. Most mediators charge per hour, per session, or using a flat fee.
Session charges for a mediator’s time usually go by an hourly rate or by half-day/full-day. Those that charge flat rates typically have a corresponding limit on the number of hours or sessions you can have. Most mediators will first evaluate your case and its specifics before offering you an exact price estimate.
However, the hourly rate and average cost will always vary. Some of the factors include:
- Skill level
- The complexity of your divorce issues
what are other factors that could affect mediation costs?
Other factors that affect the average cost of divorce include how long it takes to create a marital settlement agreement, your net worth, and the willingness of the two parties to engage in mediation.
For example, say you and your spouse have worked out most of the issues (like child support and asset division), and you only have some important financial decisions remaining. In that case, hiring a private mediator could be a great choice.
Some couples even reach an agreement in one session. However, if you’re having difficulty cooperating, it could take several sessions to find a resolution, ultimately increasing your total mediation cost.
Another factor that can affect your divorce mediation cost is whether you choose face-to-face or remote mediation sessions. Typically, remote sessions have lower mediation costs.
how much does a mediator cost for private services?
The cost of a private divorce mediator varies based on a few factors:
- The complexity of your case
- Where you live
- The number of sessions you require
- Your net worth
- The level of cooperation from both spouses
A mediator’s hourly rate for a session usually ranges between $150 and $350 per hour. Divorce lawyers who also perform mediation services charge more, usually between $250 to $500 per hour.
On the other hand, some mediators charge a flat fee or per session. The total cost usually ranges between $3000 and $8000.
who pays for divorce mediation?
Typically, the two divorcing parties split the cost of a divorce mediator. However, it depends on the type of mediation. Court-ordered divorce mediation is usually free, as is community mediation. Choosing a private divorce mediator or attorney-mediator means you’ll pay for services out of pocket.
is divorce mediation cheaper than court?
Yes, a successfully mediated divorce is cheaper than hiring a divorce attorney and going to court. Lawyers usually charge more per hour for a mediation session than a private mediator. When you go through the court system, the cost of divorce could rise exponentially, and you could pay upwards of $15,000. A mediated divorce also generally gets resolved faster than a divorce through the courts.
is divorce mediation confidential?
Yes, divorce mediators have a confidential relationship with their clients. Your sessions will be private, unlike divorce hearings in court, which are public. Just as with attorney-client privilege, anything you tell your mediator in private will remain confidential.
Contact us today
If you need the help of a divorce mediator, we’re here and waiting for your call. Our services will help you make wise financial investments and decisions to facilitate your fresh start in life. Call us today at 952-428-7800 in Edina, MN, to learn more about our services and set up an initial consultation.