Mediation Costs

Most cases are handled for a flat fee that includes the preparation of all the court forms and other paperwork required to obtain a judgment. The fee depends upon the number of issues or subjects that we must resolve. For example, some issues are:

  • What will happen to the family home? 
  • How much for alimony? 
  • How much for child support? 
  • Who gets the kids? 
  • I want the money back that my folks gave to buy our house. 
  • Who gets the pension? I had it before we got married. 

Of course, not all cases have children and not all couples have houses. That makes the mediation shorter and it costs less. In some cases we get different issues:

  • One spouse was running a business for years before the marriage and it really took off during the marriage. 
  • One spouse had the house before the marriage but it was remodeled during the marriage. 
  • What will we do with these debts? Some were around before the marriage and we paid those down. 

Some cases do not involve a full divorce and only have one issue, such as, the child is now 16 and wants to live more over here. “Help us with child support.”

Isn’t this the same as using one lawyer to do everything?

No. A lawyer must represent a client zealously. It is impossible for one lawyer to “advise” both parties zealously. This is an elementary conflict of interest.

In mediation our attorneys help the parties find their own solution. Nothing is forced upon them, nor is a pre-arranged solution suggested.

In mediation we stop at the point that we have a sound agreement. Before anyone is bound, that information is put into a “memorandum of understanding.” Each spouse is encouraged to take that memo to their own independent attorney for review and approval. Then the marital settlement agreement (MSA) is prepared and the husband and wife have a second chance to get that independently reviewed and approved.

What is the hardest part about this?

The hardest part about mediation is educating the public that they do not need to go through a traditional divorce down in divorce court. I find it hard to overcome the fears that people have which drive them to be aggressive and pay a large sum of money to protect the “rights of men” or “father’s rights”. Conversely it can be hard to convince people that you do not have to rough up your spouse to obtain fair and legal support.

What is the best part about this?

  • You don’t have to worry about whether the judge will like you. 
  • You don’t have to say nasty things about someone you loved. 
  • You don’t have to worry about the kids, the house, or how much money you will have because you will be part of the process. 
  • You don’t have to put your life in the hands of a stranger, a judge, who will hear your story and make court orders based on an argument that lasts 20 minutes or less. 
  • You don’t have to go wait in line. 
  • You are protected by your actions, not in danger. 

What is next?

  • You may make an appointment to come in alone or with your spouse.
  • The financial material you gather now will help move mediation along. Begin to copy everything so that your spouse will have a full set of documents in original or in copies.
  • If you and your spouse decide to go with mediation, then you will be provided with more materials at the beginning that specifically apply to the issues involved in your case.

We look forward to helping you make a deal.

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