How much does divorce mediation cost in the Albany NY area?
Cost is an important consideration for most families, as divorce or separation is not free. Even if you do it yourself, it will cost you time to prepare all the necessary documents, and money to actually file the papers in court.
Mediation can be very cost effective when compared to collaborative or litigated divorce. Even as compared to do-it-yourself divorce, mediation can be cost effective, as you are buying some assurance from the mediator that the process of divorce will be accurately performed.
Our fees are $180 an hour to mediate your separation or divorce and help you to reach the decisions necessary to move on with your lives. We will schedule a free brief consultation (in person or over the phone or video chat) to discuss the process with both of you. After that, 1.5 hour mediation sessions (with time of ours also spent pre- and post-session) will be charged at our hourly rate if you elect to hire the firm. A typical session will cost $360.
Two to four such sessions are not unusual, depending on the complexity of the family situation and the ability of the couple to make decisions without conflict. You pay as you go so you never have to worry about mounting unpaid bills to us, or high retainer fees.
If you elect to have us draw up a separation agreement and we are able to do so, the fee will vary depending on the complexity of the terms of the agreement. (See our comparable uncontested divorce fees page, here.) Alternatively, you may each hire your own lawyers, or you may hire a different scribing attorney, to draft the document. If the latter, you may opt to have us draft a non-binding memorandum of understanding expressing the contours of your agreement.
If you file for divorce and wish our firm to do that for you, we charge low fees to prepare the divorce papers. You also will have to pay fees (in the $385 range) to the courts to initiate the divorce process. We may be able to produce other incidental documents (e.g., deeds) necessary to dissolve the marriage for a separate fee.
All told, depending on the decisions you make, the total cost of a successful divorce mediation may be within the $1000-$3000 range, which in this is area, at the high end, represents a modest initial retainer amount charged by a single lawyer for one spouse in a contested divorce.
Who pays for divorce mediation? How do we pay?
If you opt to work with us, you pay as you go. Usually the couple will opt to share the payments –made via cash, check or credit card– at the time of the mediation session, and/or prior to the preparation of any papers. We neither charge an advance retainer from which we draw down, nor do we bill and collect. There are no surprises or unanticipated charges.
How does the cost of divorce mediated compare to a litigated divorce?
In a litigated divorce context (or perhaps even in the collaborative context) in New York’s Capital District, depending on the attorneys retained, each spouse’s attorney may require an upfront retainer fee of $3,000 to $5,000 or more. Costs may continue to rise from there.
If you are able to use our services to successfully mediate your divorce, and you opt to have us prepare the necessary documents, the likely cost is in the $1,000 to $3,000 range, depending on the complexity of your situation and challenges of reaching agreement. Every couple will be different.
Follow the link for a comparison of the costs of divorce mediation, collaboration and litigation.
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