Legally, a divorce, legal separation, or paternity action begins with the filing of a petition. The petition is personally served on the other party. The other party then has an opportunity to respond by filing a response. However, if you choose to mediate, you might agree not to file the petition immediately or you the mediator can assist you in filing these papers. You might only schedule your first mediation appointment and proceed from there.
What Are the Issues?
Each case is unique, but generally, all issues fall into three categories: property division, custody, and support (child and spousal). Within these categories, is a breadth of issues which a mediator can help you spot and work through to bring your case to a resolution.
When Does it End?
In mediation, your case will be done once you and the other party have agreed on all issues and memorialized it in an agreement, known as a judgment. Keep in mind, in California, you have to wait 6 months before you can be divorced. The 6-month waiting period only affects your marital status, and does not impact how soon you can settle your case. This can happen at any time.
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