{3:06 minutes to read} When a couple decides that they want to divorce, there is often some confusion as to when Do We File for Divorce Before Starting Mediation? by Jennifer Safianthey should file in court. Here are the most frequently asked questions regarding the filing process and its effect on a couple’s ability to mediate their divorce.

Do we have to file for divorce in court before starting the mediation process?

The answer to this question is no; people need not file in court before they start the mediation process, nor do they need to worry about filing in court themselves at any point.

Once a couple has reached all their decisions in mediation, we will take care of drafting their legal settlement agreement and filing it in the court for them. We will notify the parties once the court has approved their agreement and their divorce is finalized.

Can we mediate even though we have already filed for divorce in court and have been given a date to appear in court?

Yes, couples can still come to mediation and make decisions together, regarding their finances,  assets, and, of course, their children, after they have filed for divorce in court.

However, if they have been assigned a date to appear in front of the judge, they must show up in court and notify the judge that they have decided to go to mediation and resolve all the issues outside of the court. They may decide to withdraw the papers already filed, or ask for an adjournment to give themselves enough time to work out all their issues. If they have withdrawn the papers, a new filing will be done for them once the mediation process is completed.

Who is in charge?

Don’t we all prefer to be in charge of our destinies and make decisions that we can commit to, rather than have someone else impose decisions on us that may not fit our needs or may be too difficult to live by?

Divorce, one of the most difficult crises a couple can face, becomes an opportunity for people to take charge of their own lives and make positive changes for themselves and their families as they move forward.

If you or someone you know has any other questions regarding the mediation process, feel free to call me.

You can also refer to my previous article, “what are the next steps after a divorcing couple has reached an agreement in mediation?” for further information regarding the process after the mediation is completed.

 


Comments from Social Media

Great article! Informative and easy to read. 

(Khaled Soufi on Linkedin)

You have correctly pointed out that the formal divorce action will not affect the opportunity to resolve the issues which need to be addressed in divorcing…I enjoy your articles. Keep them going. Warm regards.—Eli.

(Eli Uncyk on Linkedin)

Jennifer Safian

jennifer safian. divorce and family mediator
divorce and family mediation
upper east side of manhattan (nyc)
new york, ny
(212) 472-8626
info@safianmediation.com
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