Divorce mediation gives you the legal expertise you need, jointly, so you can keep your divorce simple and never have to go into court. If you are trying to avoid a long, drawn out mediation process, but want to be sure your mediator is explaining the law, you are in the right place.
How long does it take?
Clients usually need on average 3-4 sessions of 1 ½ -2 hours long.
If you already have agreements, we can do everything in 1 session! (see Do It Yourself Divorce
). We always will move at a pace that you are both ok with.
What if we aren’t sure we want to divorce?
There are a lot of options we can consider including: A Legal Separation or a Financial Agreement while remaining married (like a Post-Nuptual Agreement) . Depending on the option, you may not file with the court at this time. We can discuss the pros and cons in the first session, including third party credit debt risks, health insurance, taxes and temporary financial protections.
How does divorce mediation work?
Monica meets with you both together. Always. She provides key legal information so you understand your rights, while keeping it simple and efficient. You never feel you are wasting time in circular conversations but rather completing a task-focused process.
A Few Joint Sessions follow this structured process:
- How to Complete your Divorce:
- Immediate legal and financial protections
- Options on starting the divorce filing
- Ways to save on filing fees
- Legal Help with your Assets and Debts:
- You each complete the Assets & Debts Forms
- We review them together, explain relevant law, & offer expert tips
- Legal Guidelines for Child and Spousal Support:
- You each complete the Income & Expense forms (with tax information)
- We review them together & run the Dissomaster (support) calculation
- Custody Law & Help
- Options and Final Agreement:
- If you haven’t already reached an agreement (many people have!), we will offer you expert solutions
- You review the draft agreement from home (you can have someone else review it with you, like a consulting attorney)
- The final agreement gets filed with court and becomes a legal order.
Will I feel pressured to make decisions in the mediation session?
Never. You get concentrated information and legal help, then you have time to think about it.
What if I am low income and concerned about cost?
We do offer a reduced rate option for mediation for qualifying couples. Call to find out more.
What if we have already filed?
There are many more filing steps to complete, but there are also many shortcuts when mediating. We can either do everything in house for you, or tell you how you can do it all yourself to save costs. You can even save money on filing fees that we will tell you about right away.
What if our divorce is very simple or we already have an agreement?
If you already have an agreement, great! Monica will iron out any details and give you helpful legal tips and tricks that you probably didn’t already know. She will then prepare a written agreement making it legal and send it to you for review. You can do it all in one meeting! (see Do It Yourself Divorce
We are already divorced. Can you help us modify child support?
Yes. If your income or circumstances have changed since you first calculated support, we can look at the Dissomaster calculations, your current situations and create an agreed upon modification.
What if I am not ready to move forward, but my spouse is eager?
Starting mediation is not putting you on a train that you can’t stop. You are both in charge of how quickly or slowly things move. You can even decide together if you start the divorce filing right away or wait. Having the first mediation session can help you agree on the timing, so neither one of you feels rushed or gets frustrated, landing you in court!
What is Conscious Uncoupling?
Conscious Uncoupling can mean different things but the common thread is the goal of minimizing conflict and harm. Creative options include maintaining a legal marriage while separating, having a legal separation, or creating a post-nuptial agreement for financial matters. There are benefits and considerations for each of these including health insurance, tax ramifications and social security derivative spouse benefits. Together we can find the solution that meets various needs.
See more at: Conscious Uncoupling, Katherine Woodward Thomas
What if my spouse and I do not live in the same place?
We offer Virtual Mediation Services
, using Skype, Google hangout or a teleconference. We ensure that the conversation is still balanced and you still get all of the legal information you need. Our paralegal can file the documents for you regardless of where you live.
Call us at (831) 429-4210 if you have more questions or to schedule an appointment.