When is the best time to start divorce mediation? Do you need to know what you want to do or is it okay to still have questions about how it will all play out? What if you have already started litigation – can you still try divorce mediation?
Divorce mediation is a more economical, less stressful approach to working out the issues of divorce. It makes sense to try it regardless of where you are in your path to separation.
At Westfield Mediation, LLC we help clients at all stages of the process. At one end of the spectrum are couples who have just started thinking about divorce, and they want more information on the process. In these situations, we explain the options for parenting plans and living separately. We help the couple divide their assets and debts, and come up with an agreement that makes emotional and financial sense. Sometimes, divorcing couples stop and start mediation, as they figure out how they want to move forward. Together, we create a plan that works for their particular family.
In other cases, divorcing couples have been living separately for a number of months or years, and they want to put their arrangement in writing and make it official. In these cases, divorce mediation is also helpful, because there are often loose ends that need to be tied up – sometimes issues that the couple has not yet considered. For example, they may have created a day-to-day parenting plan, but have they considered what to do about college? Or life insurance? Similarly, one partner may have moved out, but have they decided what to do about the house? If and when they should sell it? How they should share the proceeds? These are the kinds of questions that we review in divorce mediation.
Sometimes, one or both spouses has already consulted an attorney or even filed for divorce. It is still possible to get the benefits of divorce mediation -- a faster, less expensive, less contentious divorce. We often meet with clients who have stated litigating and realize that they want a different approach.
Divorce mediation can be a good alternative at any time in the process – whether you have just started considering divorce, or have already been to court.