How long does divorce mediation take is based on the specifics of your case and the required number of sessions.
The length of the mediation process might vary depending on how quickly or slowly you both want it to proceed, but it typically lasts between 3 and 6 months.
Continue reading this guide to see the complete timeline that you can expect.
How Much Time Does Divorce Mediation Take?
An average mediation lasts between 3 to 6 months, and it involves the procedure for creating a Mediated Settlement Agreement (MSA), which is a legal document. A written agreement between the parties is what emerges from mediation.
– Complete Timeline
The following is a basic timeframe for divorce and mediation in general, but take note that every case is a little different.
- For at least six months, the divorce has been irretrievably broken (for a no-fault divorce).
- The petitioner speaks with a divorce attorney.
- The petitioner finds that the residency conditions for divorce are satisfied.
- The court receives the complaint from the family law attorney.
- Up to 120 days are allowed for the petitioner to serve the opposite spouse.
- The replying spouse has 20 days to reply to the complaint after being served.
- The couple goes to several divorce mediation meetings thereafter (approximately 1 to 6 months).
The divorce decree is presented to the judge for approval after the couple finds answers to all of the issues that are causing contention. Once the decree is approved, the divorce will be finalized. The time to complete divorce and mediation will vary depending on the county.
What Are the Factors That Determine How Long Divorce Mediation Takes?
How prepared you are, the type of divorce you are pursuing, both parties’ willingness to compromise, and the mediator’s skills are some factors that determine how long the divorce mediation process will take.
Most divorce mediation sessions require two-to-four-hour mediation sessions to wrap up all the loose ends. However, many couples with significantly fewer concerns (no kids or adult kids, no alimony issues, cases with minimal assets) may finish mediation in a single session and naturally may have very quick Marital Settlement Agreements.
Even while mediation work is typically quicker than going to court, there are a lot of things that might impact how long it takes, such as the following:
– How Prepared You Are
Even if you and the other party have reach agreement, there might be some difficult areas which mediation can end quickly as your mediator assists you in resolving those last few points. It will take less time to discuss the issues that need to be discussed if you are more prepared.
Making a list of potential solutions for each problem that needs to be solved is another aspect of being prepared. You will need to brainstorm solutions rather than only concentrating on the desired result. Mediation is a big puzzle, so try to think outside the box to make everything fit together.
Your mediation session will be more effective if you brainstorm potential solutions beforehand.
– The Type of Divorce
Every case is subject to circumstances that could make the divorce proceeding take longer. If a divorce is uncontested, it will go more quickly. The parties can agree on the divorce and all divorce-related matters in an uncontested divorce. The finalization of this divorce might happen in as little as 3 months.
Even if the parties agree to undergo divorce mediation, a disputed divorce will always take longer. A disputed divorce typically takes 9 months to a year to be finalized. It could take even longer in situations that are really tense.
– Willingness to Compromise
A mediator won’t give you instructions, give you the run-around, nor pressure you into making concessions. Instead, a good mediator aids in your communication and negotiation to find a solution that is agreeable to both of you.
Private mediation can move extremely fast if both parties are dedicated to finding a resolution quickly and making it work and are willing to make a small concession in order to reach common ground. You won’t likely advance very quickly if you’re each set on doing things your way.
– Mediator’s Skills
The most effective divorce mediators typically have a lot of experience dealing with more complex marital estates with intricate financial difficulties. They will be able to thoroughly examine the intricacies of investment-based assets, employee stock incentive awards, forecasts of the budgets of two households, and values of homes and businesses, for instance.
They can help spot any tax problems and issues that could arise from your divorce settlement. Look for a divorce mediation agency that hires a parenting mediator with a counselling background if parenting, child support and child custody issues are of utmost importance in your divorce.
In many cases, a mediator of this kind is considerably more prepared to comprehend complex family dynamics. Thus, an experienced mediator might be able to help you reach a settlement quickly in comparison to an inexperienced mediator.
What Are the Benefits of Divorce Mediation?
As opposed to court proceedings, many couples think that mediated divorce is more amicable and offers better solutions. Additionally, it frequently requires less time. For couples who are eager to put the past behind them and begin their new lives, the length of a divorce is a crucial factor.
Here are some of the advantages of divorce mediation:
- It keeps the cost and emotional stress of your divorce to a minimum.
- In mediation, you could have more control over the outcome of your divorce.
- Mediation could be a good option if there is no history of domestic violence as the parties could agree on major issues without any conflict.
- A trial will cost significantly more money than mediation.
- Most mediations result in a resolution of all divorce-related concerns.
- There is no publicly accessible record of what happens during your session, which means your sessions are private and confidential.
- Instead of having a judgement imposed upon you based on strict and impersonal legal standards, mediation enables you to reach a solution based on your own thoughts of what is fair in your situation.
- Even if you decide to participate in mediation, a lawyer can still legally advise you regarding the court’s mediation services.
- The process is under your and your spouse’s authority. This is not the case in court.
- In mediation, you and your husband are encouraged to communicate during the mediation process, which will help you prevent further disputes.
– Are Divorce Mediations Legally Binding?
Yes, divorce mediation is legally binding after the process is completed. A court-ordered mediation process starts when the court appoints a mediator or, if the court permits it, a private mediator of your choosing.
The mediator will meet with you when a judge orders mediation. However, if you and your spouse are using mediation on your own, you will need to choose a mediator who you both approve of.
The mediator will draft an agreement and, frequently, a parenting schedule or parenting plan if you reach an agreement and settle all or some of your divorce-related difficulties.
Only the issues you and the mediator agreed to during mediation will be covered by your settlement agreement. If you can’t agree on everything, you’ll need to resolve the remaining issues later or ask a judge to rule on them during a court hearing.
Some mediators will assist you in submitting your divorce documentation to the divorce court; others won’t. Your settlement agreement will be incorporated into the official divorce decree if the court authorizes it. The settlement agreement’s conditions can then be executed in the same way that you would any other court order.
– How Much a Divorce Mediation Cost?
Mediation costs typically range from $150 to $300 per hour or $3,500 to $15,000 for the most complicated cases, depending on the mediator you select. You could employ a lawyer, financial advisor, therapist, or member of the church to serve as your divorce mediator.
The divorce mediation process typically takes longer when there are children involved than when there aren’t. Financially complex matters typically take longer to resolve than ones with fewer assets, and spousal support-related cases take longer to resolve than non-alimony-related cases.
- Mediation can take a lot longer if you have numerous assets to divide or if you and your spouse don’t mutually agree on anything.
- In order to resolve divorce-related concerns, the mediator will arrange a meeting between the two parties and/or their legal counsel. Through mediation, disputes can be resolved without going to court.
- The mediator generally inquiries about background information from the parties and do the first intake to compile a basic picture of the parties’ particular circumstance.
- A divorce trial is no longer necessary when an agreement has been drafted, examined, signed, dated, and notarized, but the parties are still not legally divorced.
- Mediation can move extremely fast if both parties are dedicated to finding a resolution quickly and making it work and are willing to make a small concession in order to reach common ground.
Mediation can be a perfect remedy for your long and drawn-out divorce process. Thus, start mediation by reading the guidelines and complete timeline above.
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