Almost half of all American couples end up in divorce, and the percentage is even higher for LGBTQ+ individuals. Many divorces do not end up in trial, and some are able to be settled out of court completely with a mediator. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that is much quicker and cheaper than normal divorce.

Using a mediator for a divorce would be the quickest and easiest way to get a divorce. Hiring an LGBTQ+ divorce mediator should be the first step of divorce.

What is mediation?

Mediation is the process of having a neutral third party brought in to have couples come to an agreement. The two fighting parties will be brought in to sit down with someone who does not know either party personally. The mediator will make agreements based on facts, and allow each party to state their terms and what they want specifically. The mediator will go back and forth with the couples until both parties reach an agreement they feel comfortable with. Many LGBTQ+ individuals prefer mediation over the court process, as mediation is much quicker, easier, and allows for both parties to get exactly what they want.

A mediator could guide discussions in a variety of divorce topics. A mediator could discuss alimony, asset division, property division, child support, child custody, and visitation rights. The two parties must decide and state their terms to the mediator so that the mediator may draw up a plan that both parties can agree upon. The mediator may not finalize the divorce, however. The court will be the one who finalizes the divorce.

What does mediation require?

The mediation process will require a few things. Both parties must be present during the mediation process, whether it be in person or through video conference. For example, if a person has a lawyer that person can’t send their lawyer to the mediation process but not go themselves. Important documents must also be present during the case. The mediator would want to have the physical copy in their hands, so one might need to send documents in the mail or fax them to the mediator.

Mediation also requires an open mind. Very stubborn couples are not the right couples to go to mediation. Using a mediator requires couples to make sacrifices sometimes that they do not like or want to do, such as have fewer visitation rights or pay more alimony. Sacrifices have to be made in order for a non-biased agreement to be made. Many LGBTQ+ divorce use mediators before going to court.

F.A.Q.S

Q: How much does mediation usually cost?

A: It depends on the mediator’s hourly rate. Most attorneys are willing to negotiate, so there’s no specific number. It also depends on how many sessions of mediation that will be needed. Some couples only need 2 or 3, some need more than that.

Q: How long does mediation take?

A: It depends on the circumstances and how many sessions you will need, but the initial session will be two hours long. The divorce process takes 6 months to finalize, regardless of however long it takes in mediation. This 6-month process is mandatory and is set by the court, only after the 6th month after the divorce has been filed, the court may finalize the divorce.

Q: How do I prepare for mediation?

A: Prepare by having a list of all the things you would like to discuss, such as alimony or child support. Having all your paperwork with you is necessary when speaking with a mediator. Be ready to hear all possible solutions to answers. Be respectful towards your ex-spouse and towards the mediator.

Q: Is mediation confidential?

A: In California, mediation is confidential. Once the divorce is finalized with the court, the divorce will be public as court records are public. This is also a reason why some people choose mediation, as courts post all public records.

Contact Pride Legal

If you or a loved one has been thinking about divorce, we invite you to contact us at Pride Legal for legal counseling or any further questions. To protect your rights, hire someone who understands them.