In 2007 the average price for a litigated divorce was $30,000. The legal community has not released figures since that time yet, studies show the fees range from $8,000 – $133,000. Lawyers typically charge by the hour. And, when emotions run high, every interaction leads to more hours billed. Soon clients focus more on the rising cost of the process than resolving the dispute. This true in every type of dispute, not just divorce.
At The Resolution Center, we want clients focused on resolving their disputes not on watching the clock or the bank account. So, we view pricing differently:
- Budget pricing. Clients create the package of services they desire based on the number and complexity of issues in dispute. For example, packages for divorce with children typically include
— full mediation/arbitration of issues culminating in a formal document approved by the court
— conflict coaching
— child and family advocacy
— divorce financial planning
A formal budget estimate and a timeline covering all services is given to clients before they sign any agreement to proceed. Average fees range from $2,000 – $18,000 depending on the complexity of issues and range of services needed. Estimated fees can be spread over 3-5 months within a reconciliation with actual changes in the last month.
- Accessibility for all. The goal of the fee arrangement is to make services universally available and allow parties to focus on settling the issues rather than worrying about running up a bill.
At the Resolution Center we also believe that success means not only resolving the dispute, but also making sure the renegotiated relationship endures. Every fee agreement includes appropriate follow-up services at no additional charge. When loss of trust has led to chronic or acute disputes, it takes time and work to repair the relationship. We are aware that no one ever budgets for dispute resolution or a divorce. We want to support clients every step of the way.
Comparison Chart for Conflict Resolution Services in Divorce
|Pro Se||Traditional Attorney||Collaborative Law||TRC
|Agreements enforceable in court||?||?||?||?|
|Process focused on resolving conflicts||?||?||?||?|
|Sliding scale for fees||?|
|Parties retain control over key decisions||?||?|
|Parties relationships preserved/enhanced for future interactions||?||?|
|Conflict coach aids party in expressing self during sessions to communicate top priorities||?|
|Child and Family Advocate to support parenting decisions||?|
|Divorce Financial Planner to educate and plan financial decisions||?|
|Length of Process||9 – 24 months||6 – 10 sessions|
|Drafting Fee||$0||Hourly Fee at $200 – $400 per hour||Included|
|Average retainer||$0||$200 – $5,000||$0|
|Average Fee||$ 0 – $100 with internet divorce kit||$200 – $ 400 per hour; support staff at $ 50 – $ 100 per hour/per party||$ 7,500–per party||$ 2,000 – $18,000 total package–both parties included|
|Total Cost Range||$ 8,200 – $ 133,000 per party. Typical divorce costs$ 10,000 – $ 30,000 per party or $20-$60,000|
|Extra Costs||Filing Fee||Filing fee||Filing Fee||Filing Fee|