Whether in the beginning stages of a divorce proceeding or working through a child custody situation, you’re bound to have some questions. We’ve outlined some of the most predominant below, but feel free to call us anytime at (814) 409-9150.
It’s not unusual for divorcing couples to have difficulty communicating. It’s also not unusual to have strong feelings about the end of your relationship. However, even if your communication hasn’t been positive lately, that doesn’t mean that you and your spouse/co-parent are not good candidates for collaborative divorce or mediation. As long as you both share the goal of wanting to resolve the issues in a respectful way without a potentially destructive court battle, you can still work successfully with your partner to resolve your outstanding issues. Mediators and collaborative professionals are trained to help the two of you build on areas of agreement in a non-combative atmosphere. Of course, both collaborative divorce and mediation are voluntary processes, so if your partner refuses to participate, a court-based resolution may be your only option.
I begin the process by scheduling a one hour consultation with you so that I can better understand your particular circumstances. I can also answer your questions in depth so that you can make an informed decision about your possible options. If you are looking to have me as your mediator, I won’t discuss your individual situation so as not to compromise my neutrality, but I am happy to answer your process questions and I can also set up a consultation with both you and your spouse to explain the procedure and make sure you are both comfortable in moving forward with me as your mediator. The dissolution of your marriage and the well-being of your children are very personal matters, so when you hire an attorney or select a mediator, it is important to have a good fit. The first consultation is a good way to establish whether I’m right for you.
When you are representing yourself, the true benefit of legal coaching is that it reduces the stress that often accompanies the unknown so that you can move forward to accomplish your goals. A legal coach can help you objectively assess your situation and understand possible outcomes. Legal coaching can prepare you for mediation by providing you with communication tools to help you better navigate the process. Since a mediator cannot give you legal advice, an experienced coach can help you understand the law and how it applies to the facts of your case. A legal coach can also support you by offering practical tips for making the process easier to get through. Additionally, if you and your partner reach an agreement on your own or in mediation, a limited scope consultation can help you evaluate a proposed settlement and advise you whether you should accept, decline, or revise it.
As with length of time to get a divorce, the cost to obtain a divorce depends on the process chosen to resolve the issues. While litigation is the slowest way to obtain a divorce and property settlement, it is also the most costly. Motions court, trials, and competing experts require a great deal of attorney preparation, which will consequently drive up your cost. You still have attorney fees with a collaborative divorce, but because you and your spouse share the goal of reaching a resolution, you voluntarily share documents instead of paying your attorney to compel the other side to provide information. Instead of each of you paying for an expert such as a real estate appraiser, you agree on an expert and share the fee. Mediation will likely be less costly than either litigation or collaborative divorce since you split the cost of the mediator’s fees, and even if you consult separately with an attorney, the attorney’s involvement is typically limited. Of course, please keep in mind that you should not choose your process based on the cost. It’s important to pick an option that is right for you and your particular situation.
The length of time it takes to get a divorce depends on the process you choose, the willingness of the other party to cooperate and disclose information, and the complexity of your finances. At minimum, even if both parties agree to divorce, it cannot happen in less than 90 days, as measured from the date that the non-initiating spouse receives the divorce complaint. Litigation is by far the process that takes the longest to complete. In litigation, all disagreements must ultimately be resolved in court and it takes time to get scheduled and to get a decision from a judge. Mediation and collaborative divorces typically take less time because you and your spouse control the process from the first meeting through negotiating resolutions and finalizing the agreement.
The first step is to get in touch!
Call me at (814) 409-9150 or click below to learn more.