The average divorce costs over $10,000 and can run up to $20,000 and more, even for persons of middle class means.

In addition, after months and possibly years of expense and stress, the parties often end up facing a future neither planned, including hostile personal relations that interfere with parenting rights and has them continually going back to court to enforce financial obligations.

Thousands of dollars and months of time can be saved if the couple can agree to use an experienced family law mediator to help them resolve their issues directly and privately. In most cases, all of the issues can be can be resolved and put into a form for filing with the court for about $1,000 for each party and sometimes less. The parties will be more satisfied with an agreement they reached themselves, rather than with one fought over in a lengthy, expensive, and adversarial court battle.

At a minimum, each party may have an attorney review their agreements to be certain they are fair and equitable and will satisfy state legal and tax requirements. Some parties may want their attorneys more heavily involved in helping prepare for the mediation, but even then the shared costs will be much less than if the lawyers were fighting it out in court for months with motions, depositions, interrogatories, trials, and appeals.

Sometimes only a few issues, such as custody, parenting time or child support can be agreed upon peacefully in mediation. This still reduces the overall cost of the divorce and helps bring both sides to a better understanding of the benefits of working together.

One last note: if you decide to mediate your divorce and hire an attorney, hire one who is a qualified and certified mediator who is familiar with the mediation process and is willing to help you and your spouse create options and solutions to reach a mutually satisfactory settlement agreement.

Don’t hire the “gun slinger’ who promises you the world. You will end up regretting it.