How Much Does Divorce Mediation Cost?

The cost of mediation depends on how much work you do to prepare for your sessions so that you are using your time wisely for the process of mediation.

I offer a pre-mediation consultation that can be done remotely, via Zoom, where I can gain a brief understanding of your situation, and provide you with some guidance that can help you get organized so that mediation is very cost effective for you. I don’t like to waste money, and I’m sure you don’t either. 

Sessions cost $250 per hour, which include my time outside of the session when I need time to research information for your case, or when you need me for a quick question or two about tasks or forms. I’m a person who can “see the forest and the trees”. I can keep my eye on the big picture, your master plan, your end goals, while also keeping track of all the details and steps that it takes to accomplish these goals. If I need a piece of information between sessions, and it is something that is not going to affect the unbiased nature of mediation, then I will contact you and get that information as soon as possible rather than waiting until the next session and potentially wasting any time and money. 

Fees are this rate for several reasons. You are paying for my experience and expertise, my skills at keeping the sessions peaceful, and the need to keep anyone from wasting precious time. If fees were cheap, one party could easily stonewall the other party by cancelling sessions at the last minute, or wasting time, stonewalling on decisions and keeping the case from proceeding. When people take things seriously, and respect the value of this process, then it all goes really well. I’ll write more about this in a different post. 

There is an additional $300 fee for the preparation of the Memorandum of Understanding which includes all of my time outside of session typing it, revising it, phrasing things correctly so that they pass easily in front of a judge, and making any small changes to the Memorandum when we’re reviewing it together at the end of our mediation sessions.

Sometimes I can adjust the fees if clients demonstrate need. That is a case by case decision. I have found that my clients appreciate my fairness and my ability to map out a plan so that their time and money is used most effectively. 

It’s quite possible for clients who are organized and ready to negotiate to complete mediation in only 3 or 4 sessions. Parenting plans and spousal support each usually take at least one session. This is still less than the $2000 or $3000 retainer that most lawyers require to start a case.

Divorcing partners can reduce the number of mediation sessions they need by having their financial information organized.

Examples of this information would include:

  • financial affidavits
  • mortgage information
  • vehicles (owned, leased, financed)
  • values of investment accounts
  • banking information
  • properties owned
  • credit card debts

As the mediator, I will build the financial picture of your marital assets and liabilities along with the budgets that you each prepare through your financial affidavits. If you have concerns about issues of spousal support or child support, please know that these issues will be negotiated and resolved once the entire financial picture and individual needs are understood. The new guidelines for spousal support and child support take many factors into consideration and you can depend on the process of mediation to sort it all out.

For questions or to schedule an appointment, please call Diana at 630.479.4676 

Links for Illinois Dissolution of Marriage and Child Support Resources 

Links for Financial Advice (Diana provides this out of courtesy only and you may use any financial advisor you want)

Seth Cooper – Edward Jones

by Diana Zilly, MS, MA, LCPC, NBCFCH. Diana is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Certified Divorce Mediator, and former Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Joliet Junior College.

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