How Much Will it Cost?
Although the mediator's hourly fee is comparable to an attorney's hourly fee, in mediation, only one hourly fee is incurred, not two as in the case of an attorney negotiated settlement. Mediation takes much less time than an attorney negotiated settlement or litigation, therefore, the average cost of a mediated agreement is a fraction of the cost of an attorney negotiated settlement or litigation.
You control the amount of time you spend. At Mulford Mediation, the process does not "take on a life of it's own."
Mulford Mediation offers professional mediation services at an hourly fee. Payment is requested at the end of each meeting. Mulford Mediation does not require a retainer. As you can imagine, the duration of a specific mediation is impossible to predict. We do not set a minimum or maximum number of meetings. That's in your control.
In our years of experience, however, we have found that couples with children who decide to create a separation agreement generally need between 3 to 5 meetings and couples without children generally need between 2 to 3 meetings before they are ready for the mediator to prepare a draft of their agreement. All meetings are a minimum of 2 hours. Each meeting generally lasts 3 hours. We ask parties to set aside 3 hours for each meeting so no one feels rushed.
Once you reach verbal agreement on all issues, then the mediator will write your agreement -- an estimate of the time to write the agreement can be more specifically given at that time, but generally it's from 2 to 5 hours (also charged at the hourly fee).
The mediator will meet with you to go over the written agreement (this meeting is sometimes an exception to the 2 hour minimum). Your agreement will be written in plain English using words that you understand.