How long does divorce mediation take?

According to the American Bar Association (ABA), a mediated divorce costs 40% to 60% less than a litigated divorce, mostly due to fewer hours billed by your attorney. This is good news for your pocketbook, job, and home and social life.

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Divorce Mediation Pre-Planning

A significant part of mediation and the overall time commitment happens outside the mediation room. It takes time to locate and gather documents, discuss your goals with your attorney, and work out a plan to accomplish those goals. One of the primary roles your attorney plays during a mediated divorce, according to the ABA, is to explain to you, the client, how the mediation process works. Together, you’ll address whether timing of the divorce is important, talk about how to make informed decisions, analyze the background of the mediator, review what you need to prepare yourself for in terms of outcome, and more.

How Long and How Many Mediation Sessions?

The second aspect of how long a divorce mediation takes is the number of sessions and the length of each session. Typically, a mediation session takes between three and five hours, with some going up to all day. However, sessions are kept short to decrease stress and ensure that both spouses are still in the mindset of coming to an agreement and meeting each other in the middle. As such, mediation may be split into two or three days, divided out over a few months. Sometimes only a few mediation sessions are required, and the entire mediation process can be over within a matter of a week or two. Other times, it may take multiple months of mediation before an agreement can be reached. If no agreement materializes, the spouses will seek other forms of divorce.