Kathy Macchione Leggett, LMHC • (863) 207-4402  Kathy@mccmediation.com

Mediation & Counseling Consultants

A less stressful and costly alternative to trial.

Costs and Fees

Couples have found that the cost of divorce using mediation is usually much less than the retainer fee for one attorney alone, not to mention the cost of two attorneys employed to battle the case out in court. With litigated divorces, costs can go sky high.  Each party usually pays their own attorney a retainer of at least $2000, and fees go up from there based on time in consultation, research, discovery, telephone calls, letters, and court time.  It is common for litigated divorces to cost between $10,000 to $30,000 for each party.

A COMPLETE MEDIATION PROCESS USUALLY COSTS LESS THAN THE RETAINER FOR ONE ATTORNEY
AND OFTEN COSTS LESS THAN A SINGLE DAY IN COURT


The first initial session consists of one 3-hour block of time with both parties.  Most issues can be addressed and resolved in this initial block of time.  This 3 hour block of time most often results in a signed Mediation Agreement as well as a court approved Parenting Plan to be adopted by the court in your dissolution case. 

The cost for an initial
Mediation Session:  $800.00

Many Pro Se Divorce Mediations are completed within the initial 3 hour session.  If additional time is needed to complete the process, our hourly fees of $135.00 per party, per hour, apply to all time spent in mediation, after the first initial 3 hour session.  

Compare this to $350.00 per hour in attorney's fees for each party

Even if you file for divorce and take the traditional route of attorney driven litigation...more than likely, you will be ordered by the judge to participate in mediation.  If both parties can agree to participate in Mediation before filing their paperwork, they may find the process is not only far less expensive, but less emotionally destructive as well. 

Document Preparation Fees

Mediation & Counseling Consultants will prepare all the court required documents necessary to successfully file your case with the Clerk of the Courts. 

Fees for Document Preparation are as follows: 

$350.00           Modifications
$400.00           Dissolution of Marriage or Paternity
$  75.00           Quit Claim Deed 
 

An additional filing fee will be required by the Clerk of the Circuit Court where your case will be filed.  Typically a money order or cashier's check will need to be submitted with your paperwork when it is filed with the court. This filing fee varies depending on which circuit you file.  Polk County filing fees are $408.00 for a Dissolution of Marriage and $50.00 for a modification of an existing case.

Mediation & Counseling Consultants accepts cash, check, Visa, MasterCard and Discover for office time and document preparation fees.

 

Pay As You Go
In divorce mediations, you pay for each mediation session at the time of the session. Then you pay for the preparation of court papers before the documents are prepared.

With this approach, parties can proceed with the divorce at the same pace as their finances allow. For example, after some parties have made all of their decisions and sign a Mediation Agreement, they may decide to wait a month or two before having the court documents prepared and filed. 

Shared Cost
Usually, each party pays one-half of the cost of the mediation. However, there are also many cases in which one party agrees to pay all the cost, or a higher percentage than the other. In some cases, one party pays for the mediation as costs occur, then gets reimbursed in the final property division. 

In litigated divorces, the cost is often driven by one party who can force deadlines for discovery and hearings on the other party. This drives the legal fees upwards. 

The Emotional Cost
Much of the cost of litigated divorce is driven by one or both parties' fear or anger. This may be linked to the issues which caused the breakdown of the relationship. Mediation is much less expensive than taking the whole case to court because of the problems within the relationship. 

THERE ARE GREAT SAVINGS TO BE MADE IN THE AREA OF THE
 EMOTIONAL COSTS
WHICH CANNOT BE MEASURED

Inexpensive To Try
Since divorce mediation is a pay-as-you-go process, there is little financial risk in attempting to use it. And since mediation is voluntary, either party can terminate mediation.  However, there is greater likelihood that you will finish in mediation if you start. In that case, you will have saved yourself and your family thousands of dollars.

Most couples share the cost of their mediation. This greatly reduces the financial strain of each party having to bear their own attorney's fees.  However, the payment of fees can all be paid by one party or one party can bear a greater portion of the fees, assuming both parties agree.  In some cases, one party may pay for the mediation as costs occur, then get reimbursed in the final property division. 

AGAIN...THIS PROCESS IS CONTROLLED BY THE PARTIES INVOLVED,
EVEN AS IT PERTAINS TO COST