When prospective clients call, they often ask how long the divorce mediation process takes. The simple answer is easy – usually clients attend 4-6 one-hour sessions, generally 2 weeks apart, so you may be done in 8 -12 weeks. We can even meet weekly if you are in a hurry. The gaps between appointments provide clients the time they need to gather information and/or think about the issues and the options.
While the majority of our clients at Westfield Mediation, LLC, do wind up following this path, for others, the process takes longer. Some clients prefer to spread out the intervals between appointments for budgetary reasons. Mediation is pay-as-you-go, which is different from litigation where a lawyer requires an upfront retainer fee of several thousand dollars, so clients set up the meetings in a way that works for their particular financial situation. For others, they want to try out living their new parenting plan before committing to it in Court. And sometimes people want to get in a more settled financial place – either with their jobs or their new living arrangements before they move forward.
Even when clients finish mediation, they don’t all choose to get divorced right away. Sometimes people finish most of the process, and then take months away from mediation to be sure, or because other issues have arisen in their lives that they need to deal with first. In other cases, people wrap up, but then decide not to get divorced until months or years later. In these situations, clients often call us to update their documents one last time before filing.
So, the real answer to the question “how long does the process take?”, is that it is up to you. We can move as quickly or as slowly as you want. In divorce mediation, unlike divorce litigation where the Court sets the calendar, you can proceed on your own timetable. This is one of the many reasons that divorce mediation is a less stressful alternative to litigation.