At the time of this article’s publish date, it’s already June.

If you’re in California and haven’t filed for divorce yet—sorry, you won’t be divorced in 2021 because of the State’s 6-month waiting period.

What if your case has already started? Once again, there’s simply not enough time to go through the lengthy, drawn-out process of a trial and be officially divorced by the end of the year. So what’s your best option to hit your target date? Mediation.

When you stack it up side-by-side against divorce litigation, mediation is the most time efficient, cost effective, and healthiest way to end your marriage. Not only does litigation take a toll on your wallet, it’s mentally and emotionally taxing. Worse yet, you’re leaving it up to a judge to make life-changing decisions on child custody, finances, and property.

Plus, litigation places all the power in the hands of divorce attorneys and judges (at your expense). What’s important here is you’re at the mercy of the Court’s timetable—often riddled with delays. The last thing you want is to lose control of your time right now.

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Turn This Challenge Into An Opportunity

Once again, if you’re reading this in June while your case is pending and looking to be single by New Year’s Day, litigating your divorce in court is most likely not an option. Consider the time crunch here as an opportunity to take control of your divorce negotiations and outcome through mediation. Here are a few steps in the right direction that you can take right now:

1. Set your goals and expectations.

Make a list of your goals and order them by starting with what’s most important to you. This way, you identify what objectives to stand firm on and which ones can be negotiated. For example, child custody and visitation could be at the top of the list, but material things like furniture could be near the bottom.

With the end of year in mind, determine how much time and money you and your partner feel comfortable spending to end the marriage. Remember, both of you have to be clear about these details, so you can work together towards a timely resolution.

2. Stay focused and be amicable.

Divorce is never easy, but it’s important to stay on track with achieving your goals from the previous step. Don’t get distracted by poor behavior from your partner. If your emotions are running high, enlist the help of a divorce coach or therapist to talk and work through the tough bouts.

3. Get legal help.

It’s crucial that you make the best decisions for your financial future and that your rights are protected along the way. The mediator cannot and will not give you legal advice. Hiring a divorce consultant (also known as a consulting divorce attorney) helps you attain legal support when you choose to mediate. You use this attorney on demand, only when you need them, so you’re better able to be in control of your costs. Inform the consulting attorney about your goal to finalize the divorce by the end of year, so they keep that top of mind and make it happen.

If you’d like to learn more about divorce mediation, read this comprehensive list of FAQs. For one-on-one support, reach out to us to help you resolve your divorce through mediation or divorce consulting.

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