Newport Beach Divorce Mediation Attorney discusses the Timeline of Divorce Mediation:
The Timeline of Divorce Mediation
We have all heard horror stories of divorces dragging on for years, leaving the family in financial and emotional ruin. This, I think, is part of why people stay in bad relationships longer than they otherwise would have. The fear of how bad the divorce will be can keep people in unhealthy marriages. When couples come in for their consultations at our office, one of the first questions asked is about the timeline. They want to know how long the process will take, and they are usually prepared for the worst.
This is always a happy part of the conversation for me, as I am able to inform them that the time they spend in the divorce mediation process depends on their own willingness to cooperate. Our divorce mediation clients are given a number of sessions at their initial consultation meeting. This is assessed based on the complexity of their case, and ranges between 1-6 meetings. If the couple is cooperative and provides all of the documents necessary for a successful divorce mediation, they can be done with our office in 6 weeks or less! This is very short in comparison to the length of time a litigated divorce can take. Here is a list of suggestions to maximize your time in mediation:
1. Come Prepared:
At your initial consultation, you will be given the financial disclosure forms that will need to be filled out before your first divorce mediation appointment. Basically, there are two forms. One form asks for a list of your assets and debts (Schedule of Assets and Debts), and the other asks for a break down of your monthly income and expenses (Income and Expense Declaration). During your initial appointment, your divorce mediator will explain how to fill out these forms. Our divorce mediation attorneys also provide a packet of detailed instructions that the couple can take home for assistance.
The idea here is that the sooner you can complete these forms, the sooner you can book your first divorce mediation appointment. Therefore, if you would like to make it through the divorce mediation process quickly, it is smart to set aside some extra time during the week or over the weekend to complete the form and compile all of the attachments (bank statements, etc.).
2. Be Flexible:
Being flexible means that you are flexible with your divorce mediation appointment scheduling, as well as on what you want the final agreement to look like. Your continued cooperation during the divorce mediation process will assist your divorce mediation attorney in guiding you through your appointments efficiently.
3. Be Responsive:
After your last mediation appointment, you will receive your final agreement from our office within seven days. This document will arrive in your e-mail box as a PDF. Once you get it, you must review the document to see if there are any changes that need to be made before you are ready to sign it. This is possibly the most important phase of the mediation process. Your final agreement is both a contract and a court order that will impact your rights about your property, finances, children, and debts. Make sure you take your time to read it carefully, but start that process when you get the document. This will help you avoid unnecessary delays. If you are planning to get the document reviewed by an independent attorney, do your best to set an appointment with him or her as soon as possible. Often, attorneys are busy and need some lead time for new appointments.
Divorce mediation is known for being a much more cost effective and efficient way to handle a divorce. At Alternative Divorce Solutions, we work with you to make sure that you reach the goals you have set for the process. We value your time and emotional energy.