Traditional divorce litigation isn’t a quick process. It’s often quite lengthy, which only extends the pain of the split while exacerbating any relational conflict. But as we’ve discussed in previous blogs, divorce mediation can nix these undesirable outcomes. By mediating the necessary marital agreements, you can speed up the entire divorce process without the complications of litigation. And although each case is different, with its own unique caveats, divorce mediation is a common catalyst to finalization.
Gain an understanding of the mediation process and how long it may take you to finalize, before reaching out to a Mission Viejo divorce mediator for legal support.
Establishing a Mediation Agreement
After compromising on items like child custody, alimony, and property division, you and your spouse will have to present your mediation agreement to the family judge assigned to your divorce case. However, make sure not to sign your mediation agreement until you’ve consulted the necessary parties. These include your divorce mediator, accountants, and other necessary professionals. Once your mediator or divorce attorney confirms that the agreement is in your best interests and legally valid, you can sign off on the final agreement.
Filing & Court Review
After mediating towards an agreement, the finalization process begins. The family court where you filed for divorce will have to review and approve your mediation agreement before the marriage is officially dissolved. During the review process, your judge will ask the following questions:
- Is your child support agreement aligned with calculations under California law?
- Does your property division agreement comply with community property laws?
- Are your custody arrangements in the best interest of any children involved?
- Has one spouse received too much alimony, or been deprived of necessary alimony?
Once approved by the court, your mediation agreement terms will be added to your final divorce decree. Not only will a court-ordered decree finalize your divorce – it’ll also set forth terms of property division, custody, and other items included in your mediation agreement.
However, it’s important to note that even if you and your spouse reach an agreement, it may not be agreeable to the family court. If this is the case, you could be called back into court to revamp portions of your agreement, which causes delays in the process.
Why Divorce Takes 6 Months, Minimum
Many states mandate a waiting period before your divorce is finalized, with California posing one of the longest waiting periods in the country. In California, you’ll have to wait six months between when you file, and when a court will finalize your divorce. Sadly, you can’t finalize any sooner than six months after filing your divorce petition – but this is still far shorter than the time necessary to settle a contested divorce. Still, while divorce mediation is relatively quick compared to litigation, there are no exceptions to California’s six-month waiting period.
If you’re faced with a contested divorce or are in a high-conflict situation, litigation may prove lengthy, costly, and emotionally draining. But by partnering with a knowledgeable Mission Viejo divorce mediator, these drawbacks can be nixed from the equation – allowing you to finalize faster and move onto your next chapter.
Speed Up Your Settlement with a Mission Viejo Divorce Mediator
Divorce is an emotional journey to endure. On top of the bitterness and anger which often result from a formal separation, the subsequent legal battles tend to make the whole process even more painful. At the Law Offices of Jennifer Owens, we revel in the power of choice. When spouses face divorce, they’re presented with a slew of decisions with a handful of potential outcomes. Our attorneys are believers in the best possible outcome, where a former couple chooses peace over destruction so that they can finally move on to their next chapter. We can help with that. No matter your desired path – divorce mediation, a negotiated settlement, or even litigation – The Law Offices of Jennifer Owens will achieve the best possible outcome by reaching a settlement that keeps all involved parties in mind. Visit our website to review our family law services or contact us online for a free consultation.