Yes it’s true that sometimes couples are able to complete the whole mediation process for less than one court appearance or even the cost of one spouse’s retainer fee for a litigation attorney (retainer fees for court attorneys usual range from $3500-$50,000).
We’ve actually had couples come in to Amicable Divorce Services who were able to work through most of their agreement in preparation for their mediation. If they already worked out child custody, child support, spousal support or how they want to divide up their property prior to coming in for their first mediation session, they may be able to get their case done in one or two mediation sessions.
If it is a simple case, or the couple works out most of these issues prior to the first mediation session, it could cost less than one court appearance. So if each spouse hires an attorney to prepare all of the documents and appear at court for one hearing, it could easily cost over $5,000 combined. We’ve certainly seen couples who spent tens of thousands of dollars for court appearances for temporary orders for spousal support, child support, or child custody. However, if the spouses find the right mediator, follow the mediator’s instructions, and work together “at the kitchen table,” an entire mediation could potentially cost $5,000 or even less for a simple case.
If your case is more complex or communication is not good between the spouses, it will cost more than that to mediate and it will cost SUBSTANTIALLY more to go to court with two attorneys.
Come in for a free initial consultation prior to doing any of the divorce process and get educated on the process. Call Jimmy at 626-351-1200.