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What should you expect during divorce mediation?

As you move through your divorce, you should never expect everything to go as planned. Even with a solid strategy in place, things can and will move to the forefront that throw you for a curve.

Fortunately, when you get involved with divorce mediation, you have more control over the process. This is in comparison to litigation, during which a judge is in position to make legally binding decisions.

Although no two people have the exact same divorce mediation experience, here are some things to expect as the process unwinds.

  • First meeting. As the process gets underway, you'll identify all the issues to discuss. Don't hesitate to hold back during the first meeting, as you need to lay everything out on the table. This will make it clear as to what you expect to happen during mediation.
  • Additional meetings. Once both individuals are clear about what needs to be resolved, you'll get to work during follow-up meetings. The mediator will attempt to push the process forward, but it's up to the two divorcing individuals to take part in discussions and compromise along the way.
  • The agreement. If you're able to reach an agreement on all issues, such as child custody and property division, the mediator will create an agreement for review by you and your legal team.

How long does it take?

There is no way of knowing how long divorce mediation will take, as it depends on a variety of factors. Most importantly, the willingness of both individuals to compromise. If both people play hard ball, it can take much longer for the process to reach completion.

Generally speaking, it takes several two- to three-hour long mediation sessions to work through everything. In terms of overall time, you can expect this to take a month or two.

With divorce mediation, you never have to show your face in a traditional courtroom setting. This is one of the many benefits, as it provides a less stressful environment.

You shouldn't expect everything to go as planned during your mediation, but knowing the process will help you prepare for anything that could come your way.

With full control of everything that happens, go into divorce mediation with a plan, an open mind and a strategy for protecting your legal rights.

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Nancy Noyes Engelman, Noyes & Rubin, LLP
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