This article was last updated: Nov. 1st, 2022
What Happens After Divorce Mediation?
Some parts of divorce mediation are simpler than litigation. One of the benefits of working together with your spouse on drafting a Separation Agreement together is the relative ease with which you can finalize your divorce. Your divorce can be finalized after mediation with a few extra steps. You and your spouse will work out the details of your divorce during mediation. If you can both agree on all issues and you both declare that your grounds for the divorce is the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, finalizing your divorce is a matter of filling out a few forms and filing them with the court. You and your spouse will have a final review hearing as well.
You may be able to file a motion to have your attendance waived if you cannot attend the final hearing, but this may or may not be granted. The hearing itself does not take long but the judge may ask you and your spouse some questions about your Agreement during it. If you are working with an experienced divorce mediator, they may be able to help you prepare your final divorce documents. This can save you the step of hiring an attorney to do this for you. You can simply file the documents with the court for review once they are prepared. You may not have to wait long for your final review hearing, but this will depend on how backlogged the court calendar is.
How Long After Mediation Is Divorce Final?
If you take your divorce case to court, it will generally take about 12-18 months to be finalized. However, if you choose mediation as an alternative to divorce, then it can be finalized in as little as three months.
If the judge approves your final papers and your Agreement, he or she will enter your divorce judgment in 30 days. If you and your spouse seek no modification of the Agreement during this time, your divorce will enter the divorce nisi period. If your divorce is uncontested, your nisi period will be 120 days. After the nisi period, your divorce will finalize automatically. The nisi period gives both spouses a chance to think things over. With an experienced mediator, finalizing your divorce can be easy. The real hard part of divorce is working out the terms and conditions of your divorce with your spouse, but a skilled mediator can help you with that as well.
If you have questions about how divorce mediation works, The Law Office of Polly Tatum can help you. Law Office of Polly Tatum is experienced in divorce mediation and can help you successfully handle your divorce through guided and non-adversarial mediation. Based in historic Worcester with a satellite office in Northboro, MA, our firm serves all cities and towns throughout Massachusetts and Worcester County. You can also sign up for our eNewsletter or download our free e-book for more information regarding divorce in Massachusetts.