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How Do Divorce Costs for Mediation and Collaborative Law Compare with Litigation?

When you want a divorce, you’ve got a variety of approaches to choose from ─ some more costly than others. While cost is not the only consideration, it’s a major one for most couples. Many marriages go on the rocks over financial stress and finances can remain hotly contested issues during divorce. Yet couples who set aside their differences long enough to reach compromises often can avoid emotional meltdowns along with costly legal ones.

The time factor involved with litigation is one reason why expenses run so high. Attorneys and clients must appear in court for hearings, pay court costs and undergo discovery, which can be expensive. Copying documents and hiring private investigators to gather evidence involves considerable work, not to mention the effort that goes into devising case strategies.

According to Lexis ONE, research comparing the divorce costs of mediation, collaborative law and litigation showed the following:

  • Median cost of mediation was $6,600
  • Median cost of collaborative divorce was $19,723
  • Median cost of lawyer negotiated settlements was $26,830
  • Median cost of full-scale litigation was $77,746

Looking at the figures, you may think choosing mediation is a given due to the expense. However, a Forbes Magazine article wisely pointed out that in financially complex divorces, a wife controlled by her husband’s purse strings may not have the leverage necessary to discover her husband’s hidden assets when using mediation or collaborative law. Despite the benefits of going with the least expensive approach, depending on the nature of the divorce, it may cost you dearly in terms of an unfair settlement.

Every divorce is unique. By working with an experienced Pittsburgh divorce lawyer at Feldstein Grinberg Lang & McKee, P.C, A Professional Corporation, you will have an advocate to guide you to the best approach for your divorce.

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