Hiring a Divorce Mediator: A Cheaper (Less Expensive) Alternative to Chicago Divorce Court

Resolving a case through the Chicago family court system is not only stressful, but also financially burdensome for the parties involved.  In especially contested divorce cases, it is not unusual for attorneys’ fees and court costs to exceed $10,000.  The parties in a divorce case may save thousands of dollars by using a Chicago divorce mediator instead or in addition to attorneys.  Divorce mediators have been very successful in helping parties settle even the most contested cases.

Why are divorces so expensive? First, it is wise to hire a divorce attorney to ensure that the case is proceeding as it should and that an individual’s rights are protected.  Although the services of an attorney are valuable, they are also expensive.  Family court lawyers charge hourly for their services, and these fees add up quickly.  In fact, most attorneys charge in excess of $200 per hour to represent an individual in family court.

The assistance of other professionals may also become necessary.  For example, if custody or visitation is contested, the court may appoint a Guardian ad Litem to conduct an investigation.  Guardians charge hourly for their services as well, and the parties are responsible for these costs.  Should the services of forensic accountants, child psychologists, or other professionals become necessary to resolve certain issues, the parties are also responsible for those expenses.

However, mediators are typically able to help the parties settle their disputes in a matter of hours, during multiple sessions over a couple of months.  A litigated divorce may take several years.   Since the parties are encouraged to collaborate and settle the case, they enter mediation with a more positive mindset than if they were going into a contested trial.  Mediators may charge a few thousand dollars, but the parties usually split these expenses.  With a divorce mediator, the parties can finalize their case sooner and keep more money in their bank accounts.