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  • Nov 10th, 2021

    What is a Mediated Divorce and is it Right for Me?

    Divorce, Divorce Mediation, Divorce Preparation, Family Law

    What is a mediated divorce?

    A mediated divorce is when two married individuals agree to a divorce and hire an independent or neutral third party to act as a mediator.

    A mediated divorce is, oftentimes, a much easier and more civil way of filing for divorce.

    Divorce mediation is an alternative form of divorce that does not involve going to court or a judge (until he or she is required to Approve) your agreed-upon terms.

    In other words, a divorce mediation lawyer will work as a neutral party working to help both parties involved in the divorce.

    What is the difference between a mediated divorce and an uncontested divorce?

    An uncontested divorce is where all issues have already been agreed upon, and you are simply hiring the attorney to draft up the agreement.

    Guidance is given only to the party who actually hired the attorney.

    A mediated divorce is where both parties have the opportunity to have their questions answered, and not everything needs to be agreed upon prior to mediation.

    If an uncontested divorce becomes a contested divorce, the attorney can remain to represent the party that hired them.

    In a mediated divorce, if the matter is not resolved or becomes contested, the attorney withdraws from the representation of either party, and both parties hire new attorneys.

    However, a letter outlining any agreements will be provided to both parties to take to their attorneys, hopefully cutting down on issues that need to be litigated, saving time and money for everyone.

    What is the difference between a mediated divorce and a contested divorce?

    In a contested divorce, both parties usually hire their own attorneys, and the adversarial process begins with no agreements in place.

    In a mediated divorce, the mediator,a skilled and experienced family law attorney who has been trained and certified by the Missouri Bar (or the state in which the divorce mediation takes place) to handle family law mediation, works with both parties in an effort to settle unresolved issues in the case, bringing in their knowledge of the Courts, the process, the law, and likelihood of outcomes.

    In a contested divorce, your attorney works only for your position and does not seek to reach a middle ground from the start.

    In a mediated divorce, the mediator tries to work with the parties to come to an agreement on outstanding issues and works with both sides to fully understand what the likely outcome will be should the matter proceed to a contested divorce.

    The mediator will not continue representation of either party should the matter be contested but can refer you to several excellent local divorce attorneys who will advocate on your behalf.

    Why should I try a mediated divorce rather than just start with a contested divorce?

    The mediator can help resolve disagreements before everyone pays attorneys to fight overall issues.

    The divorce mediator can give unbiased direction and guidance based on years of experience in family law, both contested and uncontested matters.

    If successful, a mediated divorce will save everyone a lot of time, money, and stress.

    If unsuccessful in resolving the outstanding issues, the mediator can help limit and clarify what agreements and disagreements remain, thereby cutting down on the issues that need to be litigated in an adversarial process.

    This helps save a significant amount of attorney fees by having the attorney focus on only specific issues rather than all issues.

    Many Courts require that the parties attempt mediation in contested matters, and your previous attempt at mediation should excuse you from having to do this once things are filed with the Court, thereby cutting down on delays and costs once the process has started.

    Costs associated with contested, uncontested, and mediated divorces

    The exact cost of a divorce will always depend on things such as the location of the divorce and the attorney representing you.

    Mediated divorces are the least expensive types of divorce. 

    For instance, as divorce attorneys in St. Louis, we charge a flat-rate fee of $2,500 to act as a divorce mediator.

    Uncontested divorces are typically the second least expensive type of divorce, however, at times they can be even cheaper than a mediated divorce.

    Some attorneys charge hourly, so the exact cost will depend on their rates. We offer flat-rate uncontested divorces that start at $1,250, however, most cases will cost slightly more.

    Contested divorces will almost always be the most expensive type of divorce.

    When things like property division, child custody, and child support are involved, the cost of your divorce is most likely going to cost at least $10,000.

    Speak with a divorce mediator in St. Louis, Missouri today!