Does Mediation Mean You Are Divorced?

By Heather Frances J.D.

Mediation can help couples reach agreement on the terms of their divorce, avoiding long court fights and eliminating cost. However, mediation is only one part of the divorce process. Though couples can agree on issues like child custody, property division and alimony with the help of a mediator, they must go to court to finalize their divorce.

Mediators' Role

Mediators are not necessarily attorneys and they do not represent either spouse in the divorce. Instead, mediators help the spouses reach agreement by structuring a conversation between the spouses. Mediators can provide an atmosphere in which spouses can be guided toward their own solutions, and spouses who reach agreement on their divorce's terms typically must formalize those terms in a marital settlement agreement. However, a marital settlement agreement does not divorce the spouses. Instead, the spouses must get a judge to divorce them based on the terms they agreed to in their mediation.

Finalizing Your Divorce

Courts will not dissolve a marriage unless the spouses file the appropriate court paperwork. Typically, this involves one spouse filing a petition for divorce with the marital settlement agreement attached, but some courts allow spouses to file together to make the divorce process faster. After the paperwork has been properly served on the other spouse, the court can set a hearing date. At the hearing, the judge reviews the mediation agreement to ensure both spouses still agree to it and that it is in the best interests of the couple's children. Generally, courts will grant a divorce that incorporates a couple's marital settlement agreement as long as it is not extremely unfair and does not harm the couple's children. Once the court enters a divorce decree, the couple's marriage is dissolved and the terms of their mediated marital settlement agreement become part of the court's order.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Uncontested Divorce in Illinois


Related articles

How to Get a No Fault Divorce in Arkansas

In Arkansas, you do not need to place blame on either spouse in order to seek a divorce. Instead, the courts will dissolve the marriage so long as the couple has lived separately for at least 18 months. Generally, it is easier to obtain a divorce when you are not trying to assign guilt. Additionally, the process may be less complicated and quicker if the couple can agree to the terms of the divorce, instead of arguing before the court.

Divorce Mediation Vs. Lawyers

Divorce can be a complicated, expensive and time-consuming process, especially when couples don't get along. However, even couples who don't get along can sometimes reach an agreement on the terms of their divorce with the help of a mediator. Mediation has many advantages, but it's not the perfect fix for every divorce situation.

Common Law Divorce & Kansas Custody Rules

When we think of marriage, we often picture a ceremony presided over by a judge or clergyman before family and friends. However, some states still recognize marriages that are not formed in this manner, but rather arise from a couple living together and holding themselves out to the public as married. Such relationships are known as common law marriages, and Kansas is one of the few remaining states that still recognize them. In Kansas, common law spouses are subject to the same divorce and custody rules as traditionally married couples.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Can a Wisconsin Judge Order Marriage Counseling Before Granting a Divorce?

The procedures for divorce in Wisconsin are similar to those of other states. One of the spouses must file an initial ...

What Is a Unilateral Divorce?

Unilateral divorce describes a divorce in which one spouse terminates the marriage without the consent of the other ...

What to Expect at ERC for an Arizona Divorce

In Arizona, many couples avoid the cost and uncertainty of going to trial to obtain a divorce by attending an Early ...

Guide to Uncontested Divorce in Minnesota

As compared with a contested divorce, filing an uncontested divorce may save Minnesota residents both time and money. ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED