We're Wisconsin family law attorneys, and no one knows more about divorce mediation.
Legally reviewed for accuracy by Attorney Kelly Dodd
The information provided does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Talk to a lawyer today for legal advice
When two people begin the process of getting a divorce in Wisconsin, they can elect (but sometimes don’t have the choice) one of two ways of working together in order to ensure an equitable resolution to their divorce — mediation or litigation.
Divorce mediation is extending an invitation to an entirely neutral, objective third party to informally, yet confidentially, help two spouses reach a mutually beneficial divorce agreement without having to enter a courtroom. It’s typically less stressful and less expensive for both parties involved.
Depending on the complexity of your divorce and your schedule’s flexibility, mediation can take anywhere from three to five days to three to five months and requires multiple sessions between you, your spouse and your mediator.
The mediation process typically flows as follows:
In divorce mediation, both partners voluntarily elect to work together outside of the courtroom, which helps:
But remember, when and whether the case resolves is directly influenced by your ability to quickly provide accurate, detailed and complete documentation to your mediator. Mediation efficiency and success is also dependent on how cooperative and compromising you and your spouse are able and willing to be.
Over 95% Success Rate: Karp & Iancu successfully settles over 95% of mediation cases without the necessity for either of the two spousal parties to hire their own lawyers—learn how.
Litigation, in its simplest terms, is the process of taking legal action.
Divorce litigation means that two spouses cannot find agreement outside of the court to reach equitable settlement terms. The parties engage in a series of court-processes resulting in settlement or a trial.
The litigation process can be grueling, impersonal and draining for a lot of people, not only due to the long waiting periods consequential to trials (can sometimes be months), but because the life you’ve worked hard to build is being broken down before a judge that has never met you but is making a decision about how often and on what terms you see your children and how your money will be used. Not to mention, anytime a case is tried before a judge, your lawyer fees and other divorce expenses increase dramatically.
Mediation can be less costly than litigation. Although cost will vary based on your needs, the starting price for mediation services at Karp & Iancu is $1,799 per spouse.
When deciding on what approach to take to your divorce, you have options:
Get a no-obligation mediation consultation and price quote to help uncover the most competitive, affordable flat fee or hourly rate specific to your mediation needs.
Book a 100% confidential consultation with a Karp & Iancu family law attorney or mediator.
There are certain qualifications to look for when choosing a mediator for your divorce including:
It’s important to note that a mediator cannot give you legal advice, make decisions for you, or impose orders like a judge would. They merely help bridge communication, resolve misunderstandings, and brainstorm solutions.
After starting the mediation process, the mediator may ask for some or all of the following. Make sure you collect and organize your financial information to make the mediation process as efficient as possible:
Although we recommend solidifying each party’s divorce requirements in an electronic document ahead of time, don’t feel the need to define every last detail surrounding the division of your assets, child custody, child support or alimony. As long as you have a general understanding of how you and your spouse want to tackle the important issues, you’ll help speed the mediation process along.
While a completed proposal agreement isn’t necessary before you enter conversation with your mediator, make sure that you write down a list of everything that is important to you to make sure nothing is overlooked when it comes down to finalizing the agreement.
Remember that the end goal is a mutually beneficial compromise. To make sure you avoid showing up to your mediation session with a reactive, rash attitude, get proper rest and exercise to stay mentally healthy.
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