The fee for mediation is $300 per hour. The length of an average session is one hour. There is no retainer. The fee is paid at the end of each session. The drafting of a Separation Agreement is not a part of the mediation. This is a separate legal service. The fee for drafting a Separation Agreement starts at $1000 if their are no minor children of the marriage and $1,500 if there are minor children.
The average time is 2-4 sessions.
Grounds for Divorce
As of October 12, 2010, New York now permits no-fault divorce. This means that a divorce can be filed on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. There is no longer a six-month wait before a separation agreement can be filed and the parties divorced.
Do I Need an Attorney
Although I am an attorney, my role is as an impartial mediator. In most cases, I will be able to prepare all documents necessary for the divorce. However, I strongly recommend that each spouse consult with their own attorney during the process to review the separation agreement before signing it, so that both parties have a full understanding as to their individual rights and responsibilities.
What are the Child Support Guidelines?
The courts in New York State have established child support guidelines that must be followed unless the parties agree to opt out of them. Child support is generally paid by the non-custodial parent for the support, maintenance and education of the children. Support is calculated pursuant to the NY Child Support Standards Act (Domestic Relations Law section 240(1-b) and Family Court Act section 413(1)(b)), as follows:
17% of combined parental income for 1 child
25% for 2 children
29% for 3 children
31% for 4 children, and
no less than 35% for 5 or more children