Divorce Mediation: How It Works & Why It May Save You Time And Money
When most people file divorce papers, they assume that they will have to appear in divorce court and undergo a lengthy litigation dispute over the division of assets, child custody and alimony. In many cases, especially those where both parties wish to resolve the legalities in a quick and amicable manner, divorce mediation may be the answer. As the name implies, divorce mediation involves a neutral third-party who oversees the agreement between the husband and wife relating to the terms of their divorce.
Couples who decide to undergo divorce mediation as opposed to having their case tried in divorce court will save both time and money as the litigation process can be both lengthy and complex. A divorce mediation is a much more casual and friendly setting and, in some cases, both parties may even walk away on better terms than if the case were to proceed to trial. Depending on the nature and complexity of the case, divorce mediation can often be completed in less than one month. In order for this to occur, both parties must be cooperative throughout the discovery process and must be able to schedule regular mediation appointments.
With that being said, it’s important to note that although informal, a divorce mediation is very much a legal process and should be taken seriously. The mediator will serve as a neutral party, which means that both you and your spouse may wish to seek the independent representation of a divorce attorney who specializes in these types of cases. Whether you prefer advice on divorce or actually desire the presence of a licensed divorce attorney during the actual mediation process, it is important that you understand your legal rights and are equipped with the knowledge of local divorce laws in your area when entering into mediation. A professional divorce lawyer can provide you with advice and recommendations during every step of the way, starting with the filing of divorce papers and concluding with the dissolution of your marriage.
As mentioned earlier in this article, divorce mediation may be a less expensive process than a divorce court proceeding. If a case proceeds to trial, your divorce attorney will spend hours of time in preparation, discovery and will be required to take depositions. Time is money and, in this case, the old saying has never been more true. The more hours your divorce lawyer spends on your case, the more you will likely pay in attorney fees. A divorce mediation, on the other hand, will result in less hours of research and work for your divorce attorney, which means a lower cost for you. A divorce is an expensive process, but there are ways to keep the fees at a minimum. During divorce mediation, both parties can resolve all issues both legally and effectively and without having to deal with the lengthy and expensive litigation process.
At the conclusion of a divorce mediation, the divorce attorneys for both parties will review any/all documents that require signatures and will advise their client to sign documents relating to the agreements reached during mediation. Once all paperwork has been signed, including that which relates to child custody, alimony and the division of assets, a court date will be scheduled for the final divorce hearing.
The information contained in this article is designed to be used for reference purposes only. It should not be used as, in place of or in conjunction with professional legal advice regarding divorce, child custody, alimony and/or divorce laws. If you are in need of divorce advice or are considering a marriage separation, consult with a professional divorce lawyer in your area for further information and/or divorce advice.