Divorce mediation is simply the best way to resolve your divorce, custody, or support matter.
Mediation is quicker, less expensive, and more amicable than the traditional way to divorce, which involves divorce lawyers and litigation in court.
Divorce mediation is a process in which a divorce mediator assists a couple in both identifying and resolving the issue in their divorce as a neutral third party. The divorce mediator is usually an experienced divorce attorney, although that is not always the case. The issues discussed during divorce mediation typically include property distribution, child custody disputes, and support (alimony/maintenance and child support).
During the mediation process, the divorce mediator meets with the couple, usually in-person, but occasionally over a videoconference or conference call, to identify the issues in the case and guide discussions between the parties aimed at resolving the issues.
SnapDivorce employs an evaluative style of mediation. That means we use our professional insight, experience, and knowledge to empower you and your spouse to take control of your divorce and arrive at a mutually favorable outcome. We don’t believe in “one size fits all” solutions, and we always remain mindful of the sensitive nature of divorce, especially when it comes to child custody.
The divorce mediation process starts with an initial consultation in the attorney mediator’s office, or over a videoconference or conference call. The purpose of the initial consultation is for you to meet informally with the attorney-mediator, ask questions, and learn more about the mediation process. Based on your individual circumstances, the attorney-mediator will make recommendations as to how to best proceed, as well as determine how much divorce mediation will cost based on your personalized case and location.
Once you have signed your mediation retainer agreement, paid your mediation fee, and scheduled your first mediation session your attorney-mediator will likely ask you to provide him or her with background information, or they will provide you with a list of things to bring to the mediation.
Expect your first mediation session to last between one and two hours. During this session, the mediator will first provide you with an overview of the process, and then you will work to identify and discuss your financial and child custody issues with your attorney-mediator. After all of the issues are identified you will explore and agree upon possible solutions to resolve the issues and concerns unique to your case. If appropriate, you may want to employ the use of additional financial experts—such as pension or real estate appraisers, or psychologists for delicate child custody situations with the help of your mediator.
Once you and your spouse have come to an agreement on all of the relevant issues, the attorney-mediator will draft the relevant agreement(s) that will be submitted to the court in your area which may include: a martial settlement agreement (the agreement dealing with your property and support issues), a child custody agreement and/or a separate support agreement. The drafted agreements will then be circulated for you and your spouse to review and sign.
Once the agreement is signed, your divorce mediator will process the divorce paperwork through your local court system. You will officially be divorced once the court signs off on the divorce decree, which usually takes several months after the initial court filing.
According to Survive Divorce, the traditional divorce process takes about 11 months on average, but cases that go to trial take an average of about 18 months to resolve. Keep in mind, this is the average timeline, and depending on the complexity of your case it can take much longer.
In comparison, divorce mediation typically takes about 4-6 weeks. But it is important to consider that the entire divorce process from the beginning until you are officially divorced usually takes about 4-6 months.
Although this is the typical timeline, the mediation process is entirely in your control. You can decide how quickly or slowly you wish to proceed after the initial consultation.
According to The Street, the average cost of a traditional divorce is about $15,000 per side ($30,000 total). Although this is the average, cases with contentious parties and/or complex child custody and child support issues, the price can be significantly more. On average Divorce Attorney’s charge $400-$600 per hour, and with a complicated case, these hours add up quickly. If an agreement cannot be reached without court intervention, ligation costs can easily reach $100,000 or more.
On the other hand, the average cost of divorce mediation ranges between $4,000-$8,000, which is considerably less expensive than the cost of divorce litigation. Although this is the average, the range in cost is dependent on the complexity of the case. For example, the simplest cases in which the couple has come to a mutual agreement on their own can cost as little as $1,400-$3,000. While some mediators charge hourly, others charge a one-time flat fee, such as SnapDivoce. At SnapDivorce the flat fee will generally include from 1-3 mediation sessions, the preparation of a settlement agreement, as well as the cost to prepare and file the paperwork for a divorce.