Divorce mediation, litigation require different amounts of time

Going through a marital breakup in Massachusetts is anything but easy from both an emotional and a financial standpoint. As a result, two spouses would likely want to complete the divorce process as soon as possible. This may be possible with mediation, although the opposite is often true with divorce litigation.

Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process in which a mediator helps two spouses to iron out their divorce-related issues. These issues may range from asset distribution to child support, alimony and child custody, for instance. The mediator, however, does not serve as an advocate for either spouse. Rather, he or she remains neutral.

The mediator’s chief area of focus is helping the couple to communicate more effectively so that they can reach a mutually satisfactory and beneficial agreement. Once the two spouses have reached an agreement, the mediator can draft and even file their divorce papers for them. If the two parties are motivated, mediation can be a fast process, saving time, stress and money for all involved.

Of course, not all divorcing couples can make mediation work for them, as both parties must be willing to try to find common ground. If mediation is not helpful, then the couple must proceed to divorce trial to have a judge decide for them how their divorce issues will be addressed. However, the couple must set a court date and then wait to appear in court, which is typically a lengthier process than mediation. As a result, litigation may last months or even years in extreme cases. Whether two spouses decide to go through mediation or litigation, an attorney in Massachusetts can provide a spouse with the guidance needed to ensure that his or her best interests are protected long term.