Who Pays For a Mediator in Divorce
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Who Pays For a Mediator in Divorce?

Typically, because mediation for child custody and visitation matters are ordered by a judge, you are not going to have to pay for it.

Nevertheless, using mediation for matters of matrimonial property or spousal maintenance, mediation expenses might not be entirely covered by the court. A mediator will donate the first 2 hours (including prep time) at no cost to the spouses, but you might have to pay for any mediation expenses exceeding the first 3 hours.

How Much Does Divorce Mediation Cost?

A multitude of factors impact how much you are going to pay a private mediator or mediation firm, but the entire cost is usually between $3,000 to $8,000 (commonly split with your spouse).

How Mediation Impacts the Cost of Divorce

When spouses go through victorious mediation—meaning it leads to a settlement agreement on all the matters concerning a divorce—they can avoid the significant expense of conventional, oppositional divorce proceedings. Furthermore, as research has shown, spouses that mediate a divorce settlement are not likely to go back to court following the divorce to petition changes such as custody alterations—in which adds even more costs.

So how much does the mediation itself cost? There is not a straightforward answer to that question. Just like the overall cost of divorce, the expense of divorce mediation is going to depend on a multitude of factors. Nevertheless, the major difference in cost is subject to which of the 3 primary kinds of mediation you use:

  • privatized mediation
  • court-advocated mediation, or
  • communal mediation.

Private mediation is going to cost more than court-advocated or communal mediation. Nevertheless, private mediation is going to possibly lead to a thorough settlement of all matters concerning your divorce, so it could be less costly moving forward.

Saving on Mediation Expenses: Benefits and Risks

Like many financial decisions, occasionally you’ll end up paying more down the road if you decide on a mediation service solely based on its price. The following are a couple of things to think about when looking to save on mediation:

  • Success rates. A private mediator is going to be more expensive than court-advocated or community mediation. Nevertheless, private mediation is more probable to lead to a thorough settlement of all matters concerning your divorce, so it could be less costly moving forward, subject to your situation.
  • Attorney-mediators or non-attorneys? Nonetheless, you can typically save money on private mediation by utilizing a non-attorney mediator—when suitable for your situation. For example, a mediator that has a background in counseling could be better at disagreement resolution and assisting spouses to find creative solutions, and a mediator that has a substantial financial background (like a certified divorce financial professional) could be more effective when working with complicated assets. However, attorneys may be more effective in situation that require a mediator to fully comprehend and clarify all of the legal alternatives, and to fine-tune an agreement for unforeseen legal outcomes.
  • Restrictions on matters covered by mediation. A lot of court-advocated mediation programs are going to manage only custody and visitation matters. In theory, you could mediate parenting conflicts using a court-advocated program and then address any other matters concerning your divorce using private mediation (or using informal negotiations with your spouse or between your respective attorneys). But custody challenged are usually intertwined with other matters, like if the parent that has primary physical custody is going to stay in the marital home with the children following the divorce. If that is the case, it could be hard to resolve the matters separately.
  • Time restrictions on mediation. A lot of court-advocated and communal mediation programs provide only one session of mediation. Meaning you aren’t going to have time between sessions to contemplate further or do more research, and you might feel compelled to agree to a settlement prior to examining all your options. It could also mean that you can’t come to an agreement at all. Nevertheless, if you have somewhat straightforward disagreements with your spouse that are able to be mediated in a court-advocated program, it might make sense and save you money going that way. Mediators that work for court-advocated programs are highly knowledgeable with mediating custody matters and so are usually quite effective, even within the time restrictions.


  1. E.A. Gjelten, L. E. (2021, July 20). How much does divorce mediation cost? www.divorcenet.com. Retrieved September 14, 2021, from https://www.divorcenet.com/resources/divorce-mediation-cost.html.

Speak with Our Divorce Mediators in Arizona Today

While the divorce mediation process is not for everyone, it can save you money, stress, and hassle. Speak with a professional divorce mediator to find out if divorce mediation is right for your family.

Let us show you how divorce mediation can be a perfect solution to allow you to end your marriage today without ending your family.

If you’re ready to start your consultation with Ogborne Law, visit our Mediation Consultation request page.

Ogborne Law can help with divorce mediation in Phoenix, Arizona, and surrounding areas. Our law office is located at 5020 E Shea Blvd Suite 240, Scottsdale, AZ 85254 inside the Paradise Valley Plaza.

Let us show you how divorce mediation can be a perfect solution to allow you to end your marriage today without ending your family.

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