Ben and Jen, Gwen and Gavin, Blake and Miranda, Miss Piggy and Kermit, your loving Aunt and Uncle. Separation and divorce can happen to anyone.

While celebrities are used to being in the media and having their lives scrutinized by the paparazzi, they’re just people too. Just like it is for us regular folks, a divorce is difficult for everyone. Families are often left confused and hurting while finances are at stake, adding to the anxiety of the unknown. Those involved are unsure how to even start the process, let alone how do it without making it excruciating.

How can a couple headed toward divorce make the process less painful overall? When money is involved, it can be difficult. But perhaps we can take a cue from Gwyneth and Chris and go the “conscious uncoupling” route.

Many divorces can be settled outside of the courtroom and instead from the comfort of an office or conference room. The trend of “divorce mediation” is growing and for good reason. It saves time and money, has increased confidentiality and results in better child custody and visitation plans and agreements that are specifically designed for your family.

Divorce Mediation

In mediation, the couple meets with a neutral third party (the mediator) to work through tough issues so the marriage can end as amicably and cost effectively as possible. Divorce mediation is often faster, more affordable and less emotionally exhausting than a traditional divorce through litigation.

What are the benefits of Divorce Mediation vs. Litigation?

  • Cost savings: Divorce Mediation can cost between $2,000-5,000 total versus an average of $20,000 per person.
  • Time savings: Finalize a divorce in 3-6 months versus an average of 2 years.
  • Better child custody agreements: On average, 80% of voluntary compliance with child custody agreements versus 40%.
  • Increased confidentiality: Financial information, discussions and decisions are kept confidential versus in litigation where hearings are open to the public.

What is the process?

  • Phone call: The couple will speak with the mediator to provide some background information about your family and what issues are on the table.
  • First meeting: In this meeting, you’ll get to know the mediator. The mediator will explain the process and ask you to fill out any necessary paperwork. Each person will have an opportunity to make a short statement about the situation. The mediator may ask several questions and will help you develop a plan to reach a point of agreement. You may need to gather additional information related to property issues and child custody before your next meeting.
  • Negotiating: This process may take one additional meeting or several. Most importantly, all parties involved should be prepared, willing to listen and be open to compromising.
  • Finalize the agreement: Once the couple can come to terms, the mediator will write an agreement and a parenting plan, if applicable. This paperwork will become part of your divorce judgment.

If you and your spouse are exploring divorce options and are interested in learning more about divorce mediation, please contact us at info@thelawyerking.com or 951-834-7715.