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The True Cost of Divorce: Mediation and Litigation

The True Cost of Divorce: Mediation and Litigation

Seeking divorce in Virginia can be a costly endeavor, but it does not have to be. When you are weighing your options for divorce proceedings, hiring representation, and deciding whether to choose mediation or litigation, it is imperative to know your cost differentials — in both time and money. Let’s look at the breakdown of cost for mediation and litigation.

Calculating the cost of your Virginia divorce

Litigation can be an extremely expensive method of obtaining a divorce. When you hire a divorce lawyer, you will be charged a billable hourly rate. The more complex and adversarial your divorce, the longer and, subsequently, more costly it will likely be. Beware the lawyer that tells you your spouse will end up paying your legal fees — that is often decided by the court. Some costs associated with litigation can include:

  • Your initial consultation with a divorce attorney

  • A retainer or retainer fee

  • Filing the initial pleadings in a Virginia Circuit Court

  • Responding to a counter petition or answer from the other party

  • Serving and responding to discovery

  • Preparing documents, such as financial disclosure forms and mandatory disclosure compliance

  • Preparing and responding to motions, including for attorney’s fees

  • Appearing in court for hearings and other necessary appearances

  • Any appeals made to the court

These divorce costs add up rapidly. Some couples may face tens of thousands of dollars apiece, by the time the process is finished.

Mediation, on the other hand, has fewer procedural necessities and typically does not involve outside parties, like the courts. You can save significantly by choosing mediation over litigation. Some costs associated with mediation are:

  • Weekly sessions, the number of which is determined by the clients’ specific needs

  • Preparation of a mediated settlement agreement

  • Preparing additional documents on child support, parenting and visitation plans, and any other necessary dissolution filings

At Divorce Mediation Associates, we understand the need to limit costs and save time during your divorce. Our mediators do not waste time with unnecessary meetings or processes that squander precious resources. We want to achieve an efficient and workable solution for both parties, with or without their attorneys present. If you would like more information about mediation or divorce, please call 703-665-7592, or contact us online to schedule an in person appointment.