Divorce Mediation Timelines

Issues that usually do not delay how long a divorce mediation takes

These issues do not consume a lot of time in most divorce mediations.

  • Which spouse will be petitioner versus respondent in the divorce petition.
  • Legal custody, since most spouses choose joint legal custody.
  • Holiday and vacation parenting time since there are usually templates for such parenting time.
  • Child support if the spouses are W2 employees, there are no disputes about income and parenting time.
  • Spousal support on short marriages where the spouses make equal or near equal incomes and both have secure employment.
  • Division of jewelry, furniture and cars.
  • Division of bank and financial accounts on small estates and short marriages.
  • Division of retirements such as 401(k), 403(b), pensions and other ERISA retirement plans since these usually go through a standard domestic relations order process.
Issues that moderately affect how long a divorce mediation takes
  • Parenting time for minor children, especially for children under the age of 6.
  • Child support if there are disagreements between spouses about income. This is especially true if one or both spouses is a business owner, or one spouse claims the other spouse should be employed or is underemployed.
  • Spousal support for the same reasons as above.
  • Division or sale of the marital residence or other real estate.
  • Disputes over whether certain assets are separate or community property, or a combination of both, especially when a forensic accountant needs to get involved.
  • Disputes over a valuation of a small to mid-sized business.
Issues that heavily affect how long a divorce mediation takes
    • Child support or spousal support where one spouse is a very high income earner and there are disputes about that spouse's income, the marital standard of living, whether child support should be guideline or not, etc.
    • Division of significant real estate holdings especially if there are residential and commercial real estate involved.
    • Significant disputes over whether certain assets are separate or community property or a combination of both. These usually involve a forensic accounting and may involve significant document gathering.
    • Disputes over valuation of large businesses.
    Do not speed up the divorce mediation just because you are in a hurry

    A divorce mediation should take as long as it needs to take to ensure both spouses have conducted their due diligence. The spouses should not be rushed into decisions nor make decisions until there has been full transparency on all the issues.

    Do not delay the divorce mediation through procrastination or lack of diligence

    Spouses who unreasonably delay the divorce mediation process do not help their own cause. That is a good way for the other spouse to lose trust and potentially become impatient enough to walk away from the mediation completely.

    These delays are often the result of procrastination or a lack of diligence. Neither are good reasons.

    Do not start a mediation process unless you are serious about finishing it.

    Our family law firm offers divorce mediation throughout the State of California. Please check out below our informative guides on divorce mediation. Click on the link to visit that page.