Is mediation less expensive? Comparison of mediated and adversarial divorce costs


  • Joan B. Kelly

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    • Joan B. Kelly is principal investigator of the Divorce and Mediation Project and executive director of the Northern California Mediation Center in Corte Madera, California. She is past president of the Academy of Family Mediators.


Couples obtaining divorces using the two-attorney adversarial process spent 134 percent more in total fees than couples using a comprehensive divorce mediation to resolve all issues. The two groups did not differ in complexity of divorce, marital conflict, anger at spouse, anticipated disagreement, or household income.