Mediation is on the rise in resolving family law related and divorce issues simply because most people can no longer afford the good fight in family law court. The economy is spiraling downward and the United States dollar is losing its purchasing power at about ten percent per annum. Divorces can be expensive when two parties refuse to communicate in a rational and civil manner and they want to let their lawyers do their talking for them.

When you decide to hire a lawyer to litigate your family law case, Discovery will be conducted by your two attorneys. Subpoenas will be issued and hearings will be scheduled. In the end, attorneys’ fees will multiply. The litigation process can easily run into the tens of thousands of dollars and if two parties have enough to fight for, then six figures in attorneys fees is not unheard of.

The difference in the costs associated with mediating a family law settlement yourself through mediation versus litigating family law matters with hired professionals can be dramatic. Of course the complexities of each particular family law matter will dictate much toward the legal work that needs to be performed, but mediating a family law matter, or most legal matters for that matter, could be resolved for less than half the cost of a litigated case.

The costs generally associated with mediation include, but are not limited to, both parties meeting together, not individually, for consultation with a mediating attorney, and then the follow up meetings with that attorney in an effort to resolve the issues in dispute. When a settlement is reached the mediating attorney will prepare a settlement agreement negotiated by you. The preparation of additional associated documents will be required, such as a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage or Legal Separation, Disclosure Documents, and specific Waivers.

The cost of litigating your family law matter would certainly be much more time, emotion, and cost consuming. In the litigation model, the preparation of financial documents and mandatory disclosure compliance can run several thousand dollars. Your attorney will need to draft motions and sometimes fight to get the other side to pay your attorneys’ fee. Experts may have to be hired.

Then there’s the cost for the time to actually go into court for appearances and hearings. If required, co-parenting classes and/or the preparation of a parenting plan can add thousands to your final legal bills. A trial could cost $10,000 and upwards, an appeal another $15,000. Many people choose to mediate their family law issues because of the savings both monetary and emotional, and the fact they can play a direct part in forming their family law solution.

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