What is Divorce Mediation?
Divorce mediation is a non-adversarial alternative to courtroom litigation that allows couples to make their own decisions and reach their own agreements based upon their individual circumstances. In divorce mediation, couples meet privately with a neutral attorney mediator to discuss the relevant issues of their divorce (such as property distribution, child support, alimony and custody) and come up with an agreement that is acceptable to both parties.
Do I Need to Hire My Own Lawyer for Divorce Mediation?
No. In divorce mediation, you and your spouse do not need to retain your own attorneys. Instead, you will meet together with a neutral attorney mediator who is specializes in facilitating communications between couples in order to reach an agreement that works for everyone involved. The attorney-mediator will not give legal advice but will offer options, problem-solve and provide insight as to how a court would handle a particular issue in a litigated case in order to facilitate fair and reasonable resolution.
At SnapDivorce all of our attorney mediators are also practicing divorce attorneys. Therefore, in addition to being mediators they have extensive technical knowledge of the local laws and rules, are familiar with navigating the court system and are able to draft clear agreements that will be recognized and enforced by the courts.
Anytime during the mediation process you always have the option of consulting your own attorney who can advise you of you of your legal rights so that you can feel confident that the terms of the mediated agreement are reasonable.
For additional information check out: Do I Need A Lawyer to Get Divorced?
How Long Does Divorce Mediation Take?
You control the pace. The mediation process can move as quickly or as slowly as you would like, and you can schedule mediation sessions on your own time.
Depending on the complexity of the issues, typically couples require between one and four one to two-hour mediation sessions in order to resolve their case.
In general, the mediation part of the process takes from 4-6 weeks. The entire process, from start until you are divorced, takes about 4-6 months.
What Happens During Divorce Mediation?
Because the circumstances of each case are unique, every mediation session is different. In general, the couple and the attorney mediator will meet in the attorney mediator’s office. The goal is for the couple to feel comfortable as possible. Mediation sessions are confidential and private between the spouses and the attorney-mediator.
During the mediation session, the couple and the attorney mediator will begin by discussing the issues that need to be resolved. Once the issues have been identified, the parties might exchange relevant financial documentation (if there are financial issues) in order to value assets that will be distributed. Then the couple and the mediator will discuss potential resolutions in a non-adversarial manner.
In mediation, you are in control. You – not your attorney and not a judge – can make important decisions that will work for your family. In fact, you can be creative and come up with your own solutions that would not otherwise be available through the court.
While the attorney-mediator will keep the conversation on track, minimize hostile or non-productive discussion, and provide the couple with guidance and suggestions, couple themselves will be the ultimate decision-makers. In the majority of cases at SnapDivorce, it only takes a few mediation sessions to resolve the outstanding issues and reach a settlement.
For more information regarding what happens during a mediation session see: How Does Divorce Mediation Work?
How Much Does Divorce Mediation Cost?
Mediation is typically one of the most cost-effective ways to resolve divorces available. The average mediation at SnapDivorce ranges in price from $4,000 to $7,000. By comparison, in a traditional litigated divorce, the attorney would charge that much to each party as an initial retainer. In comparison, the average cost of a litigated divorce ranges from $15,000 to $30,000 per side. At SnapDivorce the price varies depending on the complexity of the case and can be as little as $1,400 to process a simple divorce through the court system. Most SnapDivorce cases cost $5,000 to $7,000, which includes two mediation sessions, the drafting of a master settlement agreement and the processing of the divorce through the court.