Going through a divorce is never a simple process, but it doesn't have to be nearly as stressful and contentious as some people make it out to be.
There are times when you have no choice but to work through your disagreements in court, however, you shouldn't assume that this is your only option. Did you know that divorce mediation is becoming more common with each passing year?
With mediation, both parties work with a family law mediator to resolve issues. These issues can include but are not limited to property division, child custody and support and alimony.
What to expect
There are many benefits of divorce mediation, including the fact that it can save both individuals time and money. Before you travel down this path, you'll want to learn more about how the process works.
This is what you can expect:
-- First meeting: This is when both individuals and the mediator identify issues and determine the order in which they will be discussed in future meetings.
-- Additional meetings: During these meetings, both individuals work together to negotiate on the issues at hand. While the mediator does not have the right to make any final decisions, this person can step in to steer the conversation in the appropriate direction.
If you are successful in working out all your disagreements, the mediator will draft an agreement to be reviewed by both individuals and their attorneys. From there, the mediator submits the information to the court for final approval. As long as everything checks out, you do not need to appear in court.
How long will it take?
There is no simple answer to this question, as it depends largely on the issues at hand and the willingness of both individuals to cooperate and compromise.
The average case typically takes three or four two hour sessions.
Since there is a lot to take in during divorce mediation, you must make sure you have an experienced family law attorney on your side. This person can answer your questions, help you make decisions, and ensure that you never do something that will cause you harm in the future.
With a variety of benefits and the ability to consult with an attorney, mediation should remain common well into the future.