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Phoenix AZ Family Law Blog

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Mediation: The Cheapest Way To Divorce?

How much does it cost to get a divorce? A recent magazine article on this topic when viral when it offered a crazy range of $250 to “well over $100,000.”

In Arizona, you are going to pay more than $250 because it most counties it costs more than that to file the necessary paperwork with the court, but other than that, it is difficult to say because the cost varies so much from couple to couple. 

One way to cut down on costs is to do a mediated divorce.

If You’ve Seen Wedding Crashers, You’ve Seen Divorce Mediation in Action

Most people have never heard of mediated divorce, but if you have seen the movie Wedding Crashers you have actually seen a fictionalized example of one.

You know the opening scene of the movie when the characters played by Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn remind a divorcing couple of their wedding and get them to agree on how to divide their frequent flyer miles? That’s what mediated divorce is kind of like, only in our office there is typically less singing. We work with divorcing couples to split up all their assets outside of the courtroom so that they can move on with their separate lives.

Fewer Lawyers = Less Expensive

Other than the singing, the one big thing that is different in real life is the involvement of attorneys. In the movie, both sides had their attorney at the table whispering in their ear and making objections. In the typical mediation, the only people in the room are the couple and the mediator.

Both parties split the cost of the mediation, and they talk together with the mediator and work out an agreement that either party can then take to another lawyer to have reviewed. Neither party has to have the mediated divorce agreement reviewed if they are happy with it though.

The small number of lawyers involved in the mediation (sometimes it is just the mediator) is the main reason why mediated divorces are cheaper than the average divorce.

Mediation Is Also More Private, And Allows You To Tell Your Story

In addition to being cheaper, mediation also allows you to keep the details of your relationship private. In the clip from Wedding Crashers, it is revealed that the husband thinks the wife is a bad mother, and the wife accuses the husband of having an affair with a stripper.

This is not information that you would want revealed in court, where it could end up as the headline in the local paper, or give the neighbors something to gossip about. Airing your dirty laundry in front of a mediator rather than in open court allows you to get closure and tell your side of the story without forcing you to share embarrassing family secrets in public.

So How Much Does A Mediated Divorce Cost?

Unfortunately, it is impossible to estimate how much a mediated divorce will cost you without getting some details about your specific situation. But, if you are looking to get divorced as cheaply and quickly as possible without any drama, a mediated divorce may be the best solution.


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