Going through a divorce is a challenge, as you must contend with details and circumstances that are sure to elicit a variety of emotions.
While there is no way to remove all the pain and stress from the divorce process, mediation can help.
During mediation, you and your spouse, along with the guidance of a mediator, work through all your issues. The process isn’t the same for any two divorcing couples, but here’s what it typically entails:
- First meeting: This is your opportunity to meet the mediator, identify the issues at hand and discuss the order in which you will deal with each one. The mediator can also help you better understand the information you need to collect in preparation for additional meetings.
- More meetings: Maybe you’re able to work through everything in one additional meeting. Or maybe it takes several in order to find a resolution on every disagreement. Don’t go into the process with any preconceived notions. You want to move quickly, but efficiency is also important.
- Reaching an agreement: It’s the goal of every divorce mediation meeting to move one step closer to reaching a mutually beneficial agreement. Once this happens, the mediator will create an agreement for you and your legal team to review.
How long will it take?
There is no way of knowing the answer to this question until you get started. And even then, it’s possible that you could face unforeseen challenges along the way.
Generally speaking, if both individuals are wiling to negotiate and compromise, divorce mediation will take three or more two-hour mediation sessions. Keep in mind that these meetings are typically spread out with a week or more between them.
As long as you’re happy with the agreement you reach, you’re not typically required to appear in court. Instead, your mediator can file the necessary documentation with the proper family law court.
Even though divorce mediation is more laid back than litigation, don’t assume that you can tackle the process without professional assistance. It still makes sense to consult with an attorney before and during mediation, to prevent mistakes and ensure that you have someone on your side who can answer your questions.