Considering Mediation? Our Process Keeps it Simple

Considering Mediation? Our Process Keeps it Simple By Jeff Thomas

{2:45 minutes to read} If you have chosen the route of mediation to dissolve your marriage, you may already be on the right track. To make the process as easy as possible, we suggest being prepared and examining the timeline we use at Pacific Coast Mediation, so you will know what to expect.

Simply put, you will go through the following steps:

  • 30-minute consultation
  • 30-minute intake
  • First mediation session
  • Filing of court documents

During the 30-minute consultation you and your spouse will meet your mediators in person. They will go over the process in detail and speak to you about the steps within the mediation. At this step, you will be able to see if the mediators are a good fit.

The 30-minute intakes involves meeting with a mediator on an individual basis. The mediator will go over all the homework that needs to be done in order to be prepared. They will make sure you have all the right documents, such as financial disclosures. The mediator will review everything with the client and answer any questions they may have. This is also an opportunity to receive coaching from the mediator, to think about what issues may arise, and what proposals may be offered.

The first mediation session usually happens within one to two weeks of the intakes. This step involves getting both clients together, with both mediators, so they can discuss the issues and come up with a solution that is agreeable to everyone involved.

Once you have finished the initial mediation, the documents are prepared and filed with the court. Within this step comes a separate timeline:

  • Dissolution case opened
  • Six-month waiting period
  • Court date set

Generally, the mediation process can move as quickly as the clients are able to make a decision as to how frequently the mediations should be held. The only thing that cannot be changed is the mandatory six-month waiting period imposed by the courts (i.e. your marital status can’t change married to single for six months). The six-month period starts from the date that the initial documents are filed. It’s important to note that we can file the final Marital Settlement Agreement at any time and don’t have to wait 6 months.

It’s very rare, within our process, that couples actually have to go down to the courthouse for any reason. If you are thinking about divorce away from the courthouse, it pays to look into mediation. By being able to make informed rather than emotional decisions, you can come to an agreement with your spouse, and you could save yourself a lot of time, money, and grief.

Jeff Thomas