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Divorce mediation: Do you know what to expect?

There could come a point when you realize that your marriage is no longer working. If this happens, you need to learn more about the divorce process.

There is no reason to assume that your case will immediately move to the courtroom, as mediation is one of the best ways to work through your differences, all the while saving time and money.

Despite the fact that divorce mediation can be less stressful than litigation, you still need to understand what you're getting into. This all starts with knowledge of how the process works.

  • First meeting: This is a time for you to identify the issues to discuss, such as those associated with property division, child custody and child support. Don't hesitate to put everything on the table.
  • Follow-up meetings: Once the first meeting is in the books, you'll work through subsequent meetings in an attempt to resolve your issues. You can expect the mediator to assist in moving the conversation forward, however, it's up to you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse to settle on a final resolution.
  • The agreement: This is what you're striving for. Once you reach an agreement on all issues, the mediator will draft an agreement for the review of each party.

One of the primary benefits of divorce mediation is that you don't have to spend any time in court. Instead, the final agreement will be filed on your behalf, without the need to appear before a judge.

How long will it take?

Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing how long mediation will take. This depends on a variety of factors, including the complexity of your case and the willingness of both individuals to negotiate and compromise.

It's possible to work through everything in one or two sessions that are three or four hours in duration, each. It's also possible that it will take much longer to work everything out.

When you know what to expect with divorce mediation it's much easier to get in the right frame of mind as the process begins. Knowing how things will unfold and how to protect your legal rights will put you in position for success.

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John T. Chamberlin, Attorney at Law
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