Family Law Mediation: Costs and Benefits


Family Law Mediation: Costs and Benefits

If you’re going through a divorce, you might be worried about family law mediation costs. Mediators typically charge an hourly rate, and require a retainer up front. An experienced family law mediator in Toronto may charge $300 per hour or more. You may also find mediators associated with the family law courts who will charge a sliding scale. You should also ask about any administrative charges that you may incur during the mediation process.

Family law mediation costs are just a small part of the equation. A divorce can be an expensive undertaking. And an emotional one. You are going through a lot of changes as you separate your physical, emotional, and financial relationships. Contact us if you want to learn more about mediation.

Mediation: Less Expensive, Better Outcomes

Study after study has shown that family law mediation costs are generally less than if you litigate in court. And there’s even more behind the family law mediation costs story. A pilot program in mandatory legal mediation services in Ontario showed that mediation resulted in:

  • Less time to resolve cases.
  • Lower costs than litigation
  • Higher overall satisfaction with the outcome.

(Source Ontario Bar Association: Mandatory Mediation In Ontario: Taking Stock After 20 Years).

What’s Included in Family Law Mediation Costs?

A family law mediator is a neutral third party in divorce mediation. The mediator does not act as a lawyer, take sides or advise either spouse. However, it’s beneficial when a family law mediator like Kelly Jordan brings their extensive family law experience to the table.

Here is a quick outline of the typical stages of divorce mediation, and what will be included in family law mediation costs:

  1. Statement of Issues – each party communicates their issues and concerns, including parenting, child support or spousal support needs, and division of property or assets. Lawyers may be present to help present the issues, or the mediator may shuttle between mediation rooms if spouses do not wish to meet face-to-face.
  2. Information Gathering Stage – the mediator will request back up for the issues raised in the first stage, including tax returns, investment documents, mortgage papers etc.
  3. Identification of Problems – The mediator presents the facts and identifies key issues, helping uncover underlying issues.
  4. Negotiation or Bargaining – Both parties and their advisors present solutions to the problems identified in stage 3. This stage may involve compromise and concessions which can be difficult. The spouses can be in the same room, or in separate areas. The mediator’s role is to ensure the mediation process does not break down, and to find areas of common ground upon which an agreement can be built.
  5. Settlement – The final stage of mediation is the creation of a settlement, with the agreements finalized and put into writing.

Family law mediation can be a challenging process, and an experienced family law mediator can help reduce family law mediation costs – including time, money, and the emotional costs. If you’d like to know more, read our blog, The 5 Stages of Mediation. You can get started with mediation using our online tool.

Family Law Mediation Costs: You Get What You Pay For

In general, the more experienced a family law mediator is, the most they will charge per hour. But remember, experience can also pay off down the road, with a quicker, more suitable settlement.

Is mediation right for your case? Talk to your lawyer, friends who may have experienced family law mediation, and mediation experts to decide. If you decide to meditate, read our blog on how to find an effective mediator before you make your choice.

Kelly D. Jordan: Family Law Mediation Specialist

Kelly Jordan has extensive experience both as a family law mediator, and as a lawyer involved in the mediation process. With more than two decades experience in family law, Kelly understands the ins and outs of divorce. She takes a caring, compassionate approach to family law mediation, and works hard to find satisfactory outcomes for the parties involved. Find out more about the family law mediation and the benefits of family mediation. Contact the Kelly D. Jordan Family Law Firm today.

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