Traditional, court-based separation can be an overwhelmingly expensive process.
Even if parties don’t go to court, legal fees for a lawyer-led separation process
can easily reach the $10,000 mark – per person!
“More realistically it will cost over $20,000 if it does not go to trial,”
Family law lawyer Jeffrey Behrendt says.
“If your case goes to trial, your costs could be at least $50,000.”
Mediation is SIGNIFICANTLY less costly, both financially and (just as importantly) emotionally/psychologically, especially when compared with a court-oriented settlement process.
We provide services based on flat fee billing, depending on how straight-forward or complex your situation is. This will ensure that you can predict and manage the costs associated with our work together.
General Billing Information and Process
- We require ongoing authorization from both parties to bill credit cards monthly for fees that have accrued during the month.
- Fees will be billed in either half or full increments, based upon which services have been delivered within any given monthly timeframe (e.g. if, by the end of the month, the process has only just commenced, you will be billed only for half the fees for the first session).
- We send out invoices at the beginning of each month. You are free to pay by cheque, e-transfer, or credit card through our website. We can also process payment through the credit card we have on file.
- At any time, you should feel free to inquire about the hours worked on your file. We commit to both transparency (i.e. no surprises) and efficiency (i.e. to always work as cost-effectively as possible).
How does the cost of mediation compare with the traditional legal system?
Here’s some information taken from this article:
A simple, contested divorce in Canada can cost anywhere from $7,208 to $74,122, with the average cost being $12,875 (per person).
Those fees don’t include disbursements, according to Canadian Legal Resources Centre, a paralegal services company. Disbursements typically entail costs such as the court filing fee and process serving.
Here’s an example of what those fees might look like for a simple divorce, according to the firm Fleury, Comery LLP:
- Issue application (court fee): $157
- Search registry (government fee): $10
- Process server: approximately $64
- Motion for judgment (court fee): $280
- Court clerk for filing attendances: about $56
- Certificate of divorce (court fee): $19
Court fees vary among provinces and territories. “Discoveries, appraisals, mediation, domestic specials, and financial audits are other examples of add-ons that can cost hundreds and thousands more,” the Canadian Legal Resources Centre website states. And don’t forget that lawyer’s charge for each individual email, phone call, and photocopying.
Ottawa family law lawyer Jeffrey Behrendt says that even if a divorce doesn’t go to court, legal fees can easily reach the $10,000 mark. “More realistically it will cost at least $20,000 if it does not go to trial,” Behrendt writes on CanadianDivorceLaws.com. “If your case goes to trial, your costs could be at least $50,000.”