As a Phoenix divorce mediator, one of the most common questions I receive from divorcing couples is how much will the divorce process cost. Well, it depends if a couple chooses the litigation process or the mediation process. Aside from the non-monetary costs of litigation (e.g. stress, time, communication break-down, physical wear and tear, emotional toll), the attorney fees alone in the average Arizona divorce can be quite high. Attorneys in Phoenix report that the typical divorce with minor children and modest assets can run between $20,000.00 to $40,000.00 in legal fees. For more significant assets and issues, legal fees have been reported in excess of $200,000.00. In litigation, one party cannot control the actions of the other party or their attorney, so you can see how costs can easily escalate very quickly.
Mediation, on the other hand, provides the benefit of significantly lower legal fees as well as a healthier, often friendlier, process which can support better post-divorce co-parenting relationships. From a cost perspective, mediation will almost always involve less legal fees than litigation. How much will depend on the divorce mediator and company you choose and how quickly you reach agreements.
With Mediation Plus, you have the advantage of using highly skilled, divorce professionals at affordable prices. You control the time and costs involved as you decide how much support you want from the divorce mediator, divorce financial expert and/or if you want to use attorneys for legal advice and document review. Typically, most couples complete their divorce process for less than $5,000.00.
Regardless of how much money you spend on your divorce, it will eventually be resolved. So, it is helpful to remember to look at the big picture. After the legal fees are spent and the court issues your divorce decree, you will likely be impacted by the agreements you reach regarding your future finances or your parenting plan. So, choosing a process that is more collaborative and supportive, with professionals who are experienced and skilled, could result in a lot more advantages than just cost savings. But, savings are good, too!