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Divorce Mediation

Can I Get a Divorce Without a Lawyer?

Divorce_Without_a_Lawyer.jpgIt’s a common misconception that you need to hire a lawyer for divorce.

There is no law anywhere that requires you to involve attorneys at any point during your divorce. Not even for the filing.

Anyone who tells you otherwise isn’t being truthful.

Most people hire lawyers because they don’t know there’s a better alternative or they think their case is much too difficult to be handled any other way.

There's no doubt the issues surrounding divorce are complex so it’s best to work with someone who is well-versed in the areas that need to be resolved.

But that person is not necessarily a lawyer.

So if something in your gut is telling you that hiring a lawyer for divorce is a bad idea, but you also know that if you try to do it yourself, you risk making costly mistakes, then wondering how to get a divorce without a lawyer?

You mediate with us!

You can divorce without lawyers if you work with Equitable Mediation instead.

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Believe it or not, divorce is more about finances than about family law. In fact, three of the four issues that need to be resolved during divorce are financial in nature: child support, alimony and the division of your assets and liabilities.

So you are much better off choosing a divorce mediator with a financial background than an attorney without one.

What is Divorce Mediation?

Divorce by mediation is a non-adversarial dispute resolution process led by a caring and neutral mediator that helps divorcing couples resolve all of the issues required to get a divorce.

Those issues include, but are not limited to:

  • Parenting plans and timesharing arrangements for co-parenting your children post-divorce;
  • Child support which is the financial support each of you will provide your children;
  • The distribution of your marital assets and liabilities;
  • And how much, and for how long, you will pay or receive alimony - which may also be referred to as spousal support, maintenance, or spousal maintenance depending on where you live.

Along with the four main issues listed above, mediation can also help you resolve a host of other important issues such as who will care for the family pet, religion your children will be raised in, the appropriateness of overnight guests during parenting time, etc. 

Making divorce mediation an ideal solution for how to get a divorce without an attorney.

I am happy I chose to mediate because during the entire process, I was completely in control of the settlement outcome and remained amicable with my now ex-husband.

We have been divorced almost 2 years and our family still interacts as a unit for holidays and birthdays. None of that could have been possible if we had chosen to battle our way through the legal system.

- R.R., Whitehouse Station, NJ

What are the Benefits of Divorce Mediation?

Fair_Divorce_Equitable_Mediation.jpgMediation allows two people to settle their differences like adults rather than fighting like children.

Using mediation for divorce is:

  • Fair and Equitable: The terms of the divorce settlement are fair because they are reached and agreed to by both spouses.
  • Less Expensive: Mediation costs a fraction of a lawyer-driven divorce.
  • Better for Your Children: Children aren’t caught in the middle of a confrontational litigated divorce. Instead, parents work together to resolve the issues with the children’s best interests in mind. A non-adversarial approach fosters a better co-parenting relationship.
  • Better for Results: Couples who mediate are more satisfied with the results. And child support and spousal support payments are more likely to be paid because they were mutually agreed upon.
  • Private and Confidential: In litigated divorces, everything submitted to the family law court is part of the public record, whereas in a mediation session, everything is confidential.
  • Faster: The pace of the process is controlled by the parties, instead of being at the mercy of lawyers' or a judge's schedule.

Regardless of whether you’re the initiator of the proceedings or a reluctant spouse, you have a choice in which path forward you take.

You and your children will benefit when you choose divorce mediation - without lawyers.

How Does Divorce Mediation Work?

How_Does_Divorce_Mediation_Without_Lawyers_Work.jpgWhat does a mediator do in a divorce? Our expert divorce mediator will:

  • Actively guide you and your spouse through a series of negotiations surrounding all the necessary issues to be resolved in your divorce;
  • Provide guidance about the financial matters relating to your divorce so you know what your financial picture will look like moving forward;
  • Use a variety of techniques during your mediation sessions to help you and your spouse communicate and negotiate directly;
  • Listen to each of your wants, needs and goals;
  • Draft your agreement and a host of other supporting paperwork;
  • Bring options to the table and work with you to develop fair and equitable solutions;

And ultimately help you and your spouse come to mutually acceptable solutions for all of the required issues to peacefully end your marriage.

Simply stated, Equitable Mediation is the best way for how to get a divorce without a lawyer.

My ex and I made the right choice by mediating our divorce. No lawyers, no fighting with strangers involved... We were able to negotiate and collectively make decisions with our children in mind.

I don't know why everyone wouldn't just mediate and go through this difficult process with dignity.

- K.W., Evanston, IL

Who are Good Candidates for Mediation in Divorce?

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The best candidates for mediation meet all of the following criteria:

  • Spouses who are both willing to voluntarily attend and actively participate in mediation;
  • Spouses who want an experienced professional to help them identify and discuss the issues while retaining full control over the decisions they will make and full control over their settlement;
  • Spouses who are both willing to engage in a good faith negotiation and be honest throughout the divorce and mediation process;
  • Spouses who are both mentally capable of making their own decisions.

It doesn't matter if you are a high conflict or low conflict couple, whether one of you controlled the finances or you both balanced the checkbook, or if you have or don't have kids.

If you and your spouse meet the criteria listed above, you are good candidates for mediation and can successfully divorce without an attorney.

Can Divorce Mediation be Binding?

Binding_Divorce.jpgLike many decisions in divorce, the answer to the question can divorce mediation be binding is up to you and your spouse.

While the two of you are mediating, you both still reserve the right to change your mind at any time during the negotiations. So during the negotiation phase of the process, mediation is not yet binding.

But once all issues are resolved and agreed upon, drafted into a proper document, signed by you and your spouse, and approved by the courts, the agreements made in divorce mediation will become binding.

How Long Does The Divorce Mediation Process Take?

How_Long_Does_Divorce_Mediation_Take_Equitable_Mediation.jpgOn average, the mediation process takes two to three months from start to finish.

Some of that time is spent gathering documents and submitting them to the mediator, some is spent negotiating the issues and some is spent drafting paperwork.

The good news is that the length of the mediation process is entirely within your control!

What Does Divorce Mediation Cost?

What_Does_Divorce_Mediation_Cost_Equitable_Mediation.pngMediation fees vary significantly based on the experience and skill level of the mediator, the scope of services they include and individual case complexities. They also vary from state-to-state.

Generally, the average cost of divorce mediation is between $5,000 and $8,000.

So the good news is even the most complex mediations still cost significantly less than an attorney-driven process such as a collaborative or litigated divorce.

Who Pays for Divorce Mediation?

Who_Pays_for_Divorce_Mediation.jpgWho pays for divorce mediation is up to you and your spouse to decide.

Since both spouses benefit from the mediator's guidance and expertise, most couples choose to pay for divorce mediation together (equally).

However, on occasion, one spouse may choose to pay for the total mediation fee him/herself.

But no matter who pays for divorce mediation, one mediator is far less expensive than two attorneys. And if each spouse hired their own attorney, they'd be separately responsible for those costs.

Equitable Mediation: Divorce The Smartest Way.

You_can_divorce_without_a_lawyer_working_with_Equitable_Mediation.jpgThere's a big difference between a highly skilled, neutral third party divorce mediator who can successfully guide you to resolution in a fair and equitable way versus a lawyer who is a one-sided advocate and not necessarily interested in settlement, but rather in winning at all costs – even at the expense of the other party or your children.

Getting divorced without lawyers is possible if you choose Equitable Mediation - a peaceful, fair and cost-effective alternative.

If you and your spouse have both agreed to divorce and want to mediate, take the next step and book an initial meeting for the two of you.

book a mediation appointment

Divorce Without Attorneys!

Get our Free eBook to learn even more about the benefits of mediating your divorce.

Before you go out and hire a divorce lawyer, learn why you owe it to yourself and your children to mediate instead.

10 Compelling Reasons to Mediate Your Divorce eBook