I’m going to give you a typical attorney answer. “It depends.” There are several factors that go into the cost. So here are a few factors, and how they impact the overall cost of divorce mediation.
Location: Because owning a law firm is a business and has to be run like one, factors such as location play into how we price our services. So if an attorney has offices in a more affluent part of town, where rents are higher that attorney may need to charge you a little bit more than another attorney in a different part of town, or another town over.
An attorney's overhead is not just where his offices are but what's in them. If the attorney has a lot of staff, and pricey equipment (receptionists, paralegals, gold plated toilet, etc…) then that too could effect the pricing, because someone has to pay for all of that staff, (I’m looking at you) compared to another attorney with less overhead.
The Attorney: The attorney’s experience and what they provide plays into the pricing. Usually the more experience an attorney has, and the longer they have been practicing, then their rates will reflect that and probably be higher than an attorney in the same field with a lot less experience. Additionally, some newly minted attorneys will charge really low rates to differentiate themselves from more experienced attorneys.
The Client: You determine how much by how long it will take you to complete the mediation. Most attorneys charge at an hourly rate (We don’t. We'll talk about this later) so the longer the case is drawn out the more you pay. And if there is a lot of work done by the attorney outside of the mediation sessions (responding to your emails and calls) that can also increase your costs.
Let’s consider what you will save by deciding to go with divorce mediation?
You will save significantly more money over the cost of litigation because one attorney is cheaper than two. You will save lots and lots of time because divorce mediation is a shorter process than divorce litigation. Hearings, depositions, trials and the associated prep time are a couple examples of time sinks and money pits associated with litigation.
But if that doesn’t convince you then consider the cost of something that’s priceless. You will save the peace of mind that comes with dealing with less stress from not battling through your divorce but instead working together, and not worrying about navigating the financial and legal hurdles that are part of your divorce by yourselves.
Another question is “Who pays for the mediation?” The decision on who should pay for the mediation should be made between the mediating parties. You should discuss it and come to an agreement on how the fee’s should be shared. Most couples split the fees 50/50, but other arrangements can be made (like flipping a coin, or Rock, Scissors, Paper).
Back to hourly vs. flat fee billing. We exclusively charge on a flat fee basis. One fee includes everything from start to finish. This allows us to focus on your case without worrying and wasting time tracking hours and invoicing you. With our flat fee pricing model, you don't have to worry about being nickel and dimed for every interaction with your attorney, so if you want to call or email me about your case there's no need to worry how much extra it is going to cost you, it's all included.
Call or Visit our website to discuss your legal needs today, and to schedule a free consultation. The calls on you but the consultation is on us.
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