Divorce in a Day
What if you could turn the often months-long divorce process of negotiation, mediation and litigation into divorce in a day? If you are reasonably cooperative with each other and prefer a speedy and discrete resolution, it is possible.
How does it work? Through mediation, two people can resolve all issues for divorce and parenting matters and have the agreements documented in a Separation Agreement Memorandum of Understanding and a Parenting Plan Memorandum of Understanding. These documents can then be filed with the Court for requested issuance of a court order.
Approach. A mediator does not represent either party, however can aid the parties in reaching comprehensive agreements that address everything that a court requires to issue agreements as orders. One or two major documents are required in the divorce process. The first is a Separation Agreement that divides assets and debt and addresses spousal maintenance or a waiver of the same, among other matters such as provisions for the sale or transfer of assets. For those with children, a Parenting Plan is required that sets forth parenting time, decision-making authority and child support provisions among other matters. When parties divorce, the court requires a Separation Agreement. When parties divorce and have children, the court requires a Parenting Plan.
Note that if there are minor children involved and both parties do not have attorneys, that the court will hold an uncontested hearing to verify the parties understanding of the agreement regarding children and to ensure that the agreement is in the children's best interests. This is not the case with a separation agreement addressing property division, where if parties submit a complete agreement, no court hearing is required.
Process. In mediated divorce, the parties meet with an attorney mediator for a half day or full day and discuss the various components of the agreements. If there is partial or complete agreement on all issues of relevance to the court, those are documented in a Memorandum of Understanding that can be filed with the Court. An attorney mediator can not give legal advice, however can give legal information to the parties together. The mediator can let you know what information the court requires in a Separation Agreement and Parenting Plan so can guide a discussion and attempt to foster agreement on all of the relevant issues. The mediator can not require anyone to agree to anything, therefore the parties must have a reasonable ability to work together and a desire to reach agreement out of court. Either or both parties may have attorney assistance or representation during the process.
- Provide Information sheet and financial disclosures.
- Locate documents that support the information on the financial statements.
- The mediator runs child support and spousal maintenance support worksheets.
- Meet with the mediator and discuss all aspects of divorce and/or parenting time.
- Each party states their views on each issue and proposes options.
- The mediator aids the parties in discussing and narrowing-down options.
- If the parties reach agreement on some or all issues, the agreements are documented in a Memorandum of Understanding which the parties can review and sign if they choose to sign.
- If the agreements contain agreements on all issues relevant to the court, the parties can submit the agreements to the court or have their attorneys do so.
There are several benefits of mediated divorce and parenting matters:
- Lower Cost. Mediated agreement is less adversarial and costly than contested court proceedings.
- Creativity. You have the ability to be creative and craft agreements that work for you.
- Privacy. Mediated agreements are discrete because you are not discussing your personal lives in public hearings.
- Time. You can cut out months of the standard court process with mediated agreements.
A knowledgeable and experienced divorce and family law attorney mediator can guide you through Colorado Springs divorce and family law matters. Give yourself the benefit of hiring one. This allows you to focus on moving on to new opportunities.
Sabra Janko from Janko Family Law is a knowledgeable and experienced attorney mediator who can guide you and facilitate peaceful and private resolution. Contact us at 719-344-5523 for a free 30-minute informational consultation or complete our online form.