If you’ve never been divorced before and are facing the possibility now, information is power. Knowing as much as possible about how divorce works and what to expect will help you keep a level head and managed expectations throughout a difficult and emotional time.
Am I Really About to Get Divorced?
The whole thing can seem surreal at the beginning, but know that you’re not alone. According to researchers, about 50% of marriages have a chance of lasting. If you’ve gone to college, your risk of divorce goes down by 13%, but there’s still plenty of divorce among couples with degrees.
On average, men get their first divorce around the age of 30, while women get their first divorce at 29. Most divorced people will end up marrying again within three years.
What About the Kids?
The divorce rate for people with children is about 40% lower than the national average. One reason for this is likely the difficulty of facing family choices when children are involved. In a divorce, about 75% of children end up living with their mother. Divorce has definite negative effects upon children, so family mediation service is almost always recommended if children are involved.
What is a Family Mediation Service?
This is a service designed to help families resolve their issues and reach an agreement on a voluntary and confidential basis. Family courts are increasingly pushing for mediation because of how difficult the process can be without it. Here’s how the process works:
- Mediators help you look at divorce from all sides. One of the purposes of mediation is to help you understand what divorce really means. What’s it going to mean financially? What is really going on in the other person’s mind? What will it mean for your children?
- Mediation is for everyone. Anyone can take part; even grandparents! Anyone who is potentially affected by a divorce or separation can access mediation services.
- Mediation is safe and has a point.No party will be forced to meet with any other party unless the mediators have determined that the whole situation is safe. If it is, the mediators will set up an agenda to help you reach your goals.
- After mediation, you’ll get sound advice. Mediators are also there to help you understand what your next steps should be, if any, after mediation. This could include legal advice, financial advice, or advice about accessing benefits.
How Much Does Divorce Cost?
The average cost of a divorce in the United States currently runs between $15,000 and $42,500. Divorce mediation does not significantly increase this cost, often because legal aid is available to facilitate it. However, the divorce mediation process does have the potential to decrease divorce costs. The more rancorous a divorce is and the more disagreement there is between the two parties, the more expensive it typically turns out to be.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce?
Unfortunately, almost no one can answer this question. A divorce can take anything from a few weeks to a few years, depending on how much disagreement there is between the two parties. The fastest divorces are usually between couples who have already agreed to the terms and have very few assets to divide. Once the paperwork is filled out, you simply wait for the filed papers to be dealt with by the courts.
If you add divorce mediation to the process it will take longer; however if everyone is motivated and willing to compromise, the process can still be finished fairly quickly. If the divorce comes down to a negotiated settlement, especially if there are child support or asset issues that can’t be worked out, the divorce can drag on for many months and even years. Going to court is usually a last resort, and once you do go to court it can take up to a year to even get a hearing.
Getting divorced is never an easy process, but the more willing you are to work together, the faster and simpler it will be. Get good divorce mediation help and you’ll be well on your way to a fair and equitable arrangement and able to get on with your lives.