Start Your New Chapter With a Sense of Peace Let's Discuss How I Can Help

How Long Does Divorce Mediation Take?

Jim Robenalt Dec. 13, 2023

How Long Does Divorce Mediation Take in Cleveland?

The divorce process in Ohio can be exhausting, lengthy, and very expensive, especially if each party is unable to come to a solid agreement. Instead of wasting your time and money on an attorney, you can go through the mediation process.

Working with a professional mediator saves you money and helps you come to a better resolution for you and your family. To learn more about the benefits of working with a divorce mediator in Cleveland, Ohio, and how to connect with one, continue reading below. We will cover all you need to know about this profession and who you can contact for more information. 

What Is Divorce Mediation in Ohio Cleveland?

Divorce mediation in Ohio is an alternative way to handle your divorce proceeding without the need to go to court. Unlike litigation, the mediation process does not occur in the courtroom.

Instead, you and your ex meet with a third party person to discuss your divorce settlement in a way that works best for both parties. The third-party person is not related to you or your spouse; instead, they are a neutral and impartial member. They help facilitate the discussion about creating effective parenting plans in addition to distributing liabilities and assets. 

Who Is Mediation Suitable For?

Mediation is an excellent tool for most couples, even those in disagreement. The mediator serves as a neutral party who allows both parties to feel their emotions while trying to create the best course of action for each party. Of course, even if things don’t work out in mediation, you can always seek justice in divorce court. 

Who Is Mediation Not Suitable For?

Mediation is excellent for most people but not for those engaged in physical abuse. If you have a physically abusive partner, it is best that you seek legal advice and immediate protection. It is best to have those safeguards in place before entering negotiations with an abusive partner. 

Advantages of Mediation

The most significant advantage of going through mediation is the cost-saving benefit. Going through the process of divorce court is expensive and timely.

Attorneys typically charge their clients by the hour, and you must wait to hear your case before a judge. Even more so, the case can drag on if both parties aren’t able to come to an agreement. 

Additional benefits of mediation:

  • Parties retain control over negotiations

  • Children benefit from the reduction of conflict

  • Protects family relationships

  • Focuses on the present situation

The entire process is confidential and voluntary, which helps to encourage the spirit of cooperation from both parties. Agreements reached in mediation tend to last longer than court-mandated ones.

This is because one party may not agree with a court-mandated decision. Mediation allows both parties to come to a mutual agreement. 

How Long Are Mediation Sessions?

The length of the mediation session depends on the mediator and the needs of each party. Sessions typically last about an hour and a half, but they can last longer to accommodate a party.

Couples who have few assets and no children usually take the least amount of time to come to a resolution. Those with assets and children involved may take a few sessions before the couple can come to a conclusion. 

What Is Discussed in Mediation?

There is a wide range of topics clients can choose to speak about. Most couples generally discuss parenting plans, distribution of property, child support, and spousal support. 

Items discussed in mediation:

  • 401k plans

  • Houses

  • Cars

  • Health insurance co-payments

  • Banking and investment accounts

If there are children involved, parents will also discuss college, extracurricular activities, and how long they will stay at the other parent’s house. The mediator will address all topics; it is just up to the parties involved to bring it up in discussion. 

Should I Hire an Attorney?

Just because you decide to mediate with a third party does not mean you cannot retain counsel. As a matter of fact, mediators urge their clients to seek counsel for legal advice, especially when it comes to dividing property, dealing with taxes, and needing help with child custody laws. 

If you don’t feel comfortable going at it alone, you can retain the help of an attorney on an advisory basis. Your attorney will provide you with your legal rights and alternative settlement options and help you understand any legal implications that may be in your way. 

Why Can’t I Just Use an Attorney?

There is nothing wrong with seeking counsel; it’s just a good majority of them don’t handle conflict resolution or mediation. They tend to hand those jobs over to mediators to handle. Most people don’t understand that what is discussed in mediation is not binding until an attorney reviews the agreement and makes it a legal document. 

The primary purpose of mediation is to handle conflict resolution so that both parties leave the marriage satisfied with no bad blood. Once each party decides what they want to do, they can get it down in writing. 

Does Mediation Make the Divorce Long?

The length of time that it takes to complete mediation depends on the parties involved. Generally, you and your mediator can resolve the process within two weeks.

When dealing with attorneys, it may take two to three weeks alone to send out demand letters to each party’s attorneys. Lawyer-negotiated settlements almost always take much longer than the divorce mediation process. 

How Much Does Divorce Mediation Cost?

Each mediator has its own rates they charge as no two mediators are the same. One may charge a flat rate, whereas others charge by the hour.

To see how much your session will cost, it is best to contact a few mediators for a free consultation. During your initial meeting with them, you can discuss your situation with them and see if they are a good fit for you. 

How To Find the Right Divorce Mediator

It is crucial that you find a mediator that works best for you and your ex-spouse. When looking for the right mediator to partner with, make sure you take a look at their reviews.

You can use websites such as the Better Business Bureau or Google Reviews to see what other clients did or did not like about their time with the mediator. Of course, the best way to find out if someone is best for you is to call them.

As mentioned earlier, most mediators provide free consultations where you can get a better feel for them and their mediation style. If you feel uncomfortable but your ex-spouse likes the mediator, you may want to move on and find another person to work with. 

You Feel Comfortable

As mentioned above, if you feel uneasy about your mediator, but your ex-spouse likes them, you may want to look for another mediator. The whole point of mediation is to make sure both sides feel comfortable with the resolution of their divorce.

If you feel uncomfortable, but your ex likes them, the mediator may show signs of favoritism when they should remain unbiased. An excellent mediator knows how to level the playing field and protect both parties’ interests. 

Reach Out to Your Marriage Therapist

If you and your ex-spouse went through couples therapy, you could reach out to your therapist for some recommendations. They may be able to provide you with a list of mediators to reach out to for more information. 

Check Out Their Expertise

It is imperative that you only partner with a mediator with mediation training. If you find someone on the internet who just claims they mediate but don’t have any formal training or previous experience, you may want to look elsewhere. Some attorneys claim they can help with the mediation process, but not all have the conflict resolution skills a knowledgeable mediator would have. 

Reputable Ohio Divorce Mediator

Let’s face it; no one wants to deal with going through an emotional and costly divorce court proceeding. Not only do you have to worry about paying your attorney’s fees, but you also have to make sure that you get what you want and deserve from the divorce.

To help ensure that both parties get what they genuinely desire, seek the help of a professional divorce mediator in Ohio. They have the conflict resolution skills to ensure each party gets heard. If you are in the process of a divorce and you want to mediate the process without the drawn-out legal battle, contact Jim for a free no-obligation consultation.