California Divorce Mediation: How to Speed Up the Process

Throughout my experience in California divorce mediation, I have worked with many couples over the years. While everyone moves at  their own pace, sometimes people want to know how to speed up the process. In California, we have a 6-month waiting period before the divorce can be final. While we can speed up the process in California divorce mediation, the divorce itself won’t be final until those 6 months are up. On average, I would say mediation cases still take around 6 months to get everything done.

As a mediator, we are always working with the clients to move at the pace that they want to move. If you have a specific timeline that you would like to see things get done, be sure to communicate that to your Mediator.

Here are a few recommendations for speeding up the process.

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Scheduling Regular Meetings 

In California divorce mediation, we do not require our clients to meet on any specific schedule. We work with our clients on how often they want to meet. However, those that are looking for more structure around their meetings may find that scheduling them at regular intervals helps keep the process on track. This may mean wanting to meet once a week for a specified number of weeks (depending on how many meetings your package has.) By scheduling regular meetings, you and your spouse can plan when you need to have things done.

Usually meeting every week doesn’t provide optimal time for both the clients and for the mediator to get things done in between meetings. However, if you are set on speeding up the process and want to make sure that you meet often, this can be arranged. Even if you choose not to schedule all your meetings, one thing that I always make sure happens at the end of each California divorce mediation meeting is to schedule the next meeting. Sometimes that might even be more than a month out, but it helps to have it on the calendar and doesn’t require back and forth for scheduling. Plus, if something comes up it can always be rescheduled. Since we use Calendly, it is easy to reschedule an appointment before it occurs.  

You may find that you want to meet more often than your spouse does and that they need more time between meetings. That happens and while it can be frustrating to want to move forward quicker than your spouse, one thing I’ve learned over the years is that the process can only move as fast as the slowest participant. If you find yourself in a situation where you wish the process was moving faster than it is and your spouse doesn’t want, talk with your mediator and they may be able to help come up with ways to make the process move at the pace you are both comfortable with. 

Timely Communication in California Divorce Mediation

One of the most important ways you can speed up the process is by having timely communication with your mediator and the other members of the team. When we send you something for review, such as your financial disclosures the sooner you get back to us with your comments and edits the sooner we can keep the process moving along. At West Coast Family Mediation, one of our commitments to you and one of the things that set us apart from other Mediators and attorneys is that we will always respond to all emails and phone calls within 2 business days. We do this because we know how important it is to have consistent communication with those working on your California divorce mediation case. We promise to timely communicate with you and ask that you do the same with us if you want things to move along quickly. 

Completing Financial Disclosures and Action Items 

As discussed above, completing your financial disclosure documents is one of the most important parts of the process and other things can’t happen until they’re done. Additionally, your preliminary declaration of disclosure is required for a California divorce mediation. It is required regardless of how you go about the divorce process. To speed up the process, making sure that you complete our financial disclosures packet and upload all of your attachments to the Dropbox folder that is provided to you by your mediator is of the utmost importance.

If you have children during your first mediation meeting, we will focus on the parenting plan. Otherwise, the first meeting will focus on the financials and without the disclosures, your mediator won’t have the information necessary to discuss with you and your spouse. Furthermore, the packet and statements are necessary to complete your preliminary declarations of disclosure in a timely manner. In addition to completing your financial disclosures at the end of each mediation meeting, your mediator will send you a follow-up email with a summary and action items for the next meeting. If you come to the next meeting and haven’t completed your action items, then that slows down the process. If you have issues completing your action item before the next scheduled meeting, make sure that you talk to your mediator so that they can determine whether the meeting needs to be rescheduled and whether there is anything they can assist you with before the next meeting. Keeping in contact with your mediator and sharing anything that you’re having difficulty with will allow them to better assist you through the process.  

If you are interested in California divorce mediation and how to speed up the process, contact us today for a free informational call or joint consultation.

by: Amanda Singer

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