The Center’s primary approach to simplifying the divorce process is mediation. In mediation, the parties seek to focus on and resolve issues in their divorce or separation with the assistance of an unbiased third party. The mediator can also provide information about relevant statutes and court decisions that help the couple understand what may happen, should their divorce be decided in court.
Direct communication allows the parties to craft an agreement that is tailored to their specific needs. If a couple reaches its own agreement, a court will tolerate a wide variance of possibilities on all issues except child support. How you divide your assets and debts is, for the most part, up to you. You can decide whether there will be maintenance, and if so, how much and for how long. You get to decide what kind of parenting plan works for your children – and for you. If you succeed in reaching an agreement, it will almost certainly be better for you and your children than a decision imposed by the Court. The process will be significantly less expensive than hiring attorneys to make your case to the Court.
Most of our mediations take between six and eight hours, booked in two-hour sessions. When an agreement is reached, the mediator prepares a Memorandum of Understanding that becomes enforceable when signed and notarized by the parties and ordered by the Court. On the rare occasion that complete agreement is not forthcoming, the parties can ask the judge to make a decision for them.