Before you take the divorce mediation route in Denver, San Francisco, or wherever you are, know these facts about the process first.

What is discussed in divorce mediation?

In this process, any dispute between divorcing couples are discussed. It can be about spousal support after divorce, child support, property division, and so on. As long as the couple cannot resolve the differences themselves, they may resort to divorce mediation.

Do I have to go to mediation before the divorce?

Not all divorces require mediation, such as when there’s physical abuse from either party, there’s a power imbalance, or the case is complex. If you have already settled your differences with little to no friction, you may not need to proceed to the court.

How much does divorce mediation cost?

Divorce mediators typically charge for their services by the hour. The average rate is $100-$300 per hour. There are mediators with a flat half-day or full-day fee. Half-day service costs somewhere from $300 to $700 while the full-day service ranges from $500 to $1200. This can be a lot less expensive than court litigation.

How long does it take to get a divorce through mediation?

Reaching a settlement through mediation depends on the situation. There’s no specific timeline. It depends on several factors such as the assets you have to divide, the child custody,  the issues in question, and how cooperative both parties are during the process. However, divorce through mediation is faster than through court litigation.

Is divorce mediation a good idea?

Divorce mediation is a good idea if:

  • you want to save money
  • you want to keep details confidential
  • you want the divorce settlement fast
  • you want to be in control

As stated above, divorce mediation is cheaper than court litigation on average. Hiring a divorce lawyer can cost a minimum of $20,000. Divorce mediation, however, can be around $15,000.

Divorce mediation is also a confidential process. There’s only you, your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, and the mediator. Sometimes, a lawyer’s presence is also necessary. The mediation notes and other communication is kept confidential unless there is explicit permission that they may be shared. If both of you are willing to cooperate and you don’t have complex issues, arriving at a divorce settlement is relatively fast.

Is it legally binding?

An agreement signed during mediation is legally binding; it is enforceable in court. It will be the basis for a divorce attorney to draft and finalize a divorce decree.

How do I prepare for mediation?

Attending a mediation requires mental, physical, and emotional preparedness. That said, you should determine exactly what you want. Collect and organize the necessary documents. Plan how to communicate. Know your rights. Know whether you need a support person. Keep your emotions in check.

Do I need a lawyer for mediation?

cutting paper chain family

Typically, a legal counsel is not necessary for mediation. However, you may want to consult with a lawyer to understand your rights, figure out the whole mediation process, and learn the consequences of your decisions.

What happens after divorce mediation?

If an agreement is reached, couples can seek legal counsel to review the agreement document prepared by the mediator. Then you will sign the documents and submit them to court.

Can I refuse mediation?

Yes. Mediation is an optional process. If you find yourself in a situation wherein you and your spouse are thinking of filing a divorce, mediation is a good option to take. This way, you can avoid the complexities associated with attending court hearings.