This Cost Comparison chart from David A. Casey, Divorce Mediation Attorney based out of California, outlines national cost comparisons between divorce mediation and litigated divorce.  He outlines the costs of divorce through mediation and litigation and the costs associated with each if children are involved.  This is a great basis for you to start considering your options when considering divorce.

Please note: Fees change over time. See our fees page for current information.

Description With children-  little assets With children and/or – assets – retirement No children – little assets. Family Law Attorney’s   average fees
Retainer: The time you don’t use can be applied to  the cost of the documents. Petition, Summons and Poof of Service-  1/4 hours of time or $50UCCJEA form 1/3 hour of time or $50Disclosure workshop client writes out-  review 1/2 hr or $100Marital Settlement Draft on behalf of parties. $600 without children, $750 with children. First draft.All other mediator time billed at $150 per hour. $1,5006 hours of mediation time The average is the following: 1/2 hr. with both parties.  (1hr total)2 Hours mediation regarding visitation and custody issues, 1/2 hour re support issues3 hrs working out the parties entire agreement, $2,50012 hours of mediation time. The average is the following: 45 minutes with both parties.  (1 1/2 hrs total)1  1/2 hours together getting to know issues jointly2 Hours mediation regarding visitation and custody issues,1/2 hour re support issues, 1/2 hour spousal support issues.5 1/2  hrs working out the parties entire agreement1/2 hrs going over MSA with both parties. $750.004 hours of mediation time The average is the following: 1/2 hr. with both parties. 1 hr. total3 hrs mediation regarding all other issues. With children Contested $3000 – $5000Without or non contested  $1,500 to $2,500 to startAverage cost of contested $12,000 – $15,000Protracted litigation $40,000 to $60,000Average cost per hour for an experienced attorney $275.00 to $450 per hour. Average around $320Average cost of letters between attorneys $100. Letters to client . $75OSC court hearing for average hearing and documents, $2500Disclosure forms, I&E and Schedule of Assets, $1000.00CCC hearing $300MSA  $1600 – $2500

Deposition $2000

Trial $6000 to $10000

1.  All court fees and costs are paid by the parties directly to the Superior Court.2.  For each 30 minutes NOT USED, you  receive a credit  of $75 towards  drafting documents.3. All documents are drafted in the parties names (in pro per). 4. Delivery documents to court on behalf of parties.  $505. No extra charge for Proof of Services for the court. Costs  paid by client. No credit. Attorney name on  documents. $75 for court delivery service. Proof of Service $50 plus deliver fees to the court. REMEMBER THE AMOUNTS  LISTED ABOVE ARE  FOR ONE PERSON!  SO THE OVER ALL COST IS TWICE THAT AMOUNT.
As you can see there are substantial differences between mediation and full litigation service. It is sometimes necessary to utilize the services of a full litigation attorney, however, when considering the costs involved without any guarantee of the end results, the parties end up being more disappointed.  After 18 years of hardcore litigation, my skills at negotiation and dealing with tough issues, tough judges, and working in the most difficult environments, I can now work for your benefit and in most cases get very positive results.


Looking for a lower cost alternative to divorce? Contact Jerry Fabiano today.


Photo credit: Time is Money by Tax Credits, on Flickr