We have written in the past about the benefits of using mediation for divorce. In this post, we will look at how mediation can be used to resolve issues before one of the parties files for divorce.
First, it’s important to know that the mediator is a neutral party and does not take sides. The mediator’s goal is to help the parties resolve their issues and reach a divorce agreement.
Here are a few of the benefits of using pre-filing mediation.
Gentler. Instead of filing for divorce against your spouse, the individuals file a joint petition with the Court. So instead of a plaintiff vs. defendant court case, the divorce filing is “In the matter of Party A and Party B.” This is a non-adversarial way to divorce.
Streamlined Court process. The spouses meet with a mediator to discuss all issues pertaining to assets, debts, time with children, support, etc.. When the issues are all agreed upon, a final Consent Judgment is written, with corresponding support forms. Because everything is agreed upon BEFORE filing with the court, there is only one Court date.
Cost-effective. Depending on the agreements, assets and issues involved, the cost for a joint petition can be much less expensive than filing for divorce and working it out as the case is pending. Again, nothing is scheduled with the court until the joint petition is filed. When there is no need to appear in court, you eliminate the possibility of court delays and additional expense.
Faster. Michigan Courts will waive the six-month waiting period (for cases with children). The final hearing date is set immediately after the petition is filed with the court. The date is set for 60 days after the joint petition is filed.
Questions about pre-filing mediation?
If you have questions about mediation options, please contact an experienced mediation attorney.