The costs that you have to cover when you file for divorce start piling up immediately. There are attorney fees and court costs. You will probably miss out on work at least a few times when you attend court or meet with your lawyer, which will lead to lost wages unless you use paid time off for those days.
The idea of adding additional expenses to an already-costly process may seem wasteful. If your spouse suggests mediation, you may at first reject the idea as expensive and pointless. However, for some couples, divorce mediation will actually be a more cost-effective solution than going to court over disagreements with their spouse.
Mediation leads to uncontested divorce filings
If you are successful at reaching a settlement with your spouse, the two of you can decide on your own how you want to split up your property and share parenting responsibilities. Uncontested divorce filings only require the approval of a judge and are there for typically far less expensive than litigated divorces.
The overall average divorce cost in the United States is $12,900, but how much you will likely pay to divorce varies significantly. Whether you have children and how much you disagree with your ex about the appropriate outcome for your divorce will both impact how much you pay.
Uncontested divorces average just $4,100 in costs. If you and your spouse disagree on two or more issues and go to court, your average costs will increase to $23,300. Even though mediation may add another expense to your divorce, it could still result in total costs that would be less than half of what the process might cost if the two of you fight in court.
Other ways that mediation helps
For some people, the cost of mediation isn’t their real objection. They may simply want justice in their divorce and believe that the courts will give it to them.
However, you may have an easier time demanding justice in mediation, as you can talk about aspects of your marriage but you believe should influence your settlement without making those embarrassing or personal details part of the public record. Even spouses who do not want to be in the same room together can potentially go through mediation and move on with their lives more quickly because they don’t fight about the details.
Learning more about divorce mediation can help you decide if this tool is the right solution for your upcoming divorce.