Litigation is very expensive. There is much more involved than simply showing up in court. There will be many billable hours which add up quickly. The process of discovery and depositions takes time. Since few cases actually go to trial, much of this cost can be avoided by working together with your mediator to come to an agreement without these additional billable hours.
In mediation, there is no formal discovery process. Parties agree, in writing, to provide all pertinent documents and disclose all financial assets. Rather than expensive depositions, open and honest conversations are held with the parties. This requires a level of cooperation between the parties.
It is a fact that more than 98% of all divorce cases settle outside the court room in New Jersey. If the process is going to result in negotiated settlement, why not start with mediation, a guided negotiation. Mediation avoids the preparatory expenses for litigation.
Attorneys are expensive. Their hourly billing rate is well in excess, and at times double the rates of CL Divorce & Family Mediation, LLC. You can also expect, on average, fewer billable hours in the process of mediation. The hourly billing rate for CL Divorce & Family Mediation is $250 per hour.
You determine the amount of time spent negotiating. Outside of drafting the agreement, all billable hours are those you spend in direct negotiations. The involvement of outside experts, i.e. Appraiser, Accountant, Etc., is at your discretion. In other words, you determine how much time is spent on your case.
Case averages are largely dependent upon your unique circumstances. However as a guide, sessions are typically 90 minutes and you can expect approximately three to five sessions for a range of 4.5 to 7.5 hours. Expect approximately 2 hours for drafting the agreement for a total of 6.5 to 9.5 hours as an average range. It is entirely possible that your case could take more or less time depending on your circumstances and negotiation style.