How Long Does Divorce Mediation Take
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How Long Does Divorce Mediation Take?

While every case differs, the divorce mediation process tends to take an average of one to six months to complete.

What Is Divorce Mediation?

Divorce mediation is the process allowing divorcing couples to meet with a professional-trained, unbiased 3rd party to talk about and resolve typical divorce-related matters. Mediation is usually less strenuous and less costly than divorce trials, and it typically proceeds a lot quicker. Since each of you have last word over the divorce matters, mediation also enables couples to retain the power and control in their divorce, in lieu of asking a judge to make a decision.

Mediation allows both of you the chance to hone your communication skills, even under circumstances in which a lack of communication was a cause for the marriage’s demise. With the assistance of a trained professional, even the most communication challenged spouses can be successful in mediation.

How Long Will Divorce Mediation Take?

While every case is different, most couples can expect divorce mediation to wrap up in one to six months, as mentioned. The length of divorce mediation ultimately depends on both the complexity of the specific issues and willingness of both parties to compromise.

Stages Of Divorce Mediation

A lot of mediations undergo a sequence of 5 stages—not exactly in this order, and many of them could be reiterated at different points throughout mediation. Your mediation could be different, but the following are the fundamentals of each of the stages.

Introductory Stage

In this initial stage, the mediator works alongside both of you to establish groundwork for the rest of mediation. You provide the mediator with background information concerning your situation, and the mediator clarifies how the mediation is going to be carried out.

Subject to how good you both communicate with each other and what the matters are concerning your case, the mediator proposes an approach that should increase the possibility of reaching an agreement. You’ll evaluate the matters on which you and your spouse agree and/or disagree, assisting you in working with one another on an itinerary for the rest of mediation.

Information-Gathering Stage

For the mediation to be triumphant, you, your spouse, and the mediator all are required to be as completely informed as you can about the facts concerning your case. This part is the information gathering stage. Occasionally it starts during your first session; occasionally it begins following that session. When details you and the mediator require is inaccessible or is being disputed, the mediator is going to try to assist you in finding ways to get it or to ascertain what is correct.

For instance, you might require a policy number and other information regarding a life insurance policy. If you are unable to find your copy of the policy, the mediator could suggest ways to acquire this information, like getting in contact with the broker that sold you the policy or get a hold of the insurance company.

Framing Stage

During the framing stage, the mediator assists each spouse in outlining that individual’s reasoning for wanting specific outcomes in the settlement. These reasons can include individual concerns, precedence, objectives, and values. They are usually referred to by mediators as “needs and interests.” This post uses the broader terminology “interests.”

Determining interests helps to frame the primary goal of the mediation: discovering a resolution of the matters that effectively addresses each spouse’s most vital interests. In a lot of divorces, many matter need to be examined considering each spouse’s interest. These can comprise of property and debt splitting, child custody and/or support, and spousal maintenance.

Negotiating Stage

After the mediator has assisted the spouses frame the matters and interests plainly, it is time to negotiate a reasonable settlement. This typically starts with an examination of possible options. With the mediator’s assistance, the spouses discuss and assess their options, until in the end they narrow down their options to the ones that work ideally for both parties. Arriving at the final mixture of options is going to involve compromises and give and take for each of the parties.

A lot of mediators are going to emphasize the problem-solving facet of negotiations at this stage. The problems that need to be solved is finding settlement alternatives that addresses each of the spouse’s most important interests as much as possible. Having this emphasis, you’ll be able to negotiate by trading off reasonable options rather than getting fixed into zero-sum bargaining, where one of the parties gains, is the other parties loss.

Concluding Stage

At this stage, the provisional settlement agreement is then put into writing and issued to both parties for review with their consultants. If the matters in your case are straightforward, the mediator may develop a notation detailing your settlement and provides you with an opportunity for signing it prior to you leaving the mediation session in which you finished your negotiations. The notation can abridge the vital points of agreement and may be used as a basis for creating a formal settlement agreement that is going to be filed within the court as a part of the now-uncontested divorce case.

A lot of mediators, particularly those that are also lawyers, are going to create the written settlement agreement that is going to then be filed within the court. Nevertheless, you should also have a lawyer of your own examine the draft agreement for you.

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