It’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!
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.
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:
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.
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
Mediation allows two people to settle their differences like adults rather than fighting like children.
Using mediation for divorce is:
Regardless of whether you’re the initiator of the proceedings or a reluctant spouse, you have a choice in which path forward you take.
What does a mediator do in a divorce? Our expert divorce mediator will:
And ultimately help you and your spouse come to mutually acceptable solutions for all of the required issues to peacefully end your marriage.
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
The best candidates for mediation meet all of the following criteria:
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.
Like 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.
On 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.
Mediation 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.
Who 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.
There'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.
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.