When you are seeking to end your marriage, there are many decisions to make, including how you will approach your divorce. Some spouses can agree on all relevant issues right from the start, while others are so adversarial that they are destined to battle it out in trial. Many couples who are at odds over certain issues consider trying mediation to prevent the need for trial. One common question is: how long will mediation take?
The answer to this question will depend on your specific circumstances, and you should discuss the matter with an experienced attorney who can evaluate your situation. The following are some factors that can help to estimate how long mediation might take.
How Prepared are You?
At the start of mediation, each party will need to complete forms setting forth information about their situation in relation to the issues at hand. Often, in a divorce, this involves giving information about all income, assets, property, and debts, as well as their requests for how issues are resolved.
If you have an experienced attorney on your side, they likely helped you gather all of the relevant information ahead of time. If not, you may struggle to complete this intake form and may need more time. In addition, some people are shocked by some of the information or requests put forth by their spouses. If your spouse provides information you did not previously know, it can change your mediation strategy and cause delays. A little preparation with the help of a lawyer goes a long way.
How Many Issues are on the Table?
The issues at hand in a divorce can vary, and they may include:
- Property division
- Child custody
- Child support
- Spousal support
Some spouses will agree on all issues but one, while others might struggle to reach a resolution on any issue. The more issues you will need to address in mediation, the longer the process might take.
How Willing Are You and Your Spouse to Compromise?
If two spouses agree on everything, there is no need for mediation. While you might disagree on certain issues, however, some couples are more willing to cooperate to make mediation work than others. It is always good to discuss how compromise can make the process quicker and more efficient for everyone involved.
Depending on your situation, mediation might take a matter of days, weeks, or months. Some people are able to resolve the necessary issues in a single session. Other spouses may need several sessions to reach an agreement on each issue at hand. Even if it requires multiple sessions, however, mediation can still be a preferable approach to litigation.
If you are interested in mediation, discuss the matter with an experienced divorce attorney. The right lawyer can help you determine whether mediation is right for you, and can provide the legal advice and representation you need throughout the process. Successful mediation can help you keep control over your divorce outcome, as well as save you stress, time, and money.