Mediation is almost always less expensive than litigation. The exact costs will vary depending on the complexities of the case, but normally a retainer between $3,000 and $5,000 is requested to begin the process, against which the actual time spent is billed monthly. If the retainer is not fully utilized, the balance will be refunded at the end of the mediation process. If the retainer does not cover the total costs, clients will be billed on a monthly basis after its depletion. Third party costs and fees, as well as each spouse's independent review counsel are possible additional costs involved with divorce mediation.As a general rule. divorce mediation is faster and less costly than proceeding with litigation. The exact length will depend on the complexity of the issues involved, as well as the motivation of the parties. On average, the process usually lasts between 6-10 months.Some of the benefits of choosing divorce mediation over litigation are:* you proceed at your own pace and control the timing, whether you would like to move quickly or take your time; it is not a Court dictated process,* you control the decisions that affect your family,* your children will benefit from the reduced conflict between you and your spouse,* your discussions are private as opposed to in an open courtroom,* you and your spouse craft a solution that’s right for you and your children,* you can structure your divorce agreement creatively, whether that involves division of the marital assets, co-parenting or income sharing,* you have options which are not provided in litigation, and* mediation costs less, financially and emotionally.The attorney can assist the parties by drafting and filing all papers with the court, including the Agreement, financial affidavits, child support guidelines and all necessary paperwork.Separation and divorce are among the most painful and disruptive events that an individual and family can experience. The problems are both financial and emotional. Mediation aims at reducing this tension, not increasing it. With the help of the mediator, couples negotiate their own settlement and learn techniques for resolving future differences. Mediation is for couples who want to retain control over the decisions that affect their family and recognize that divorce doesn’t have to be destructive.