This is the final step for finalizing the documents and filing them with the Court. In a mediation, the parties sometimes start with the agreement before they file. In such an instance they can rest assured that they know what the Judgment (signed and filed document evidencing your divorce and the terms) will state.
There are several different procedures to finalize the divorce and the difference depends on whether the Respondent has filed the Response with the Court. This has a filing fee of $435.00. In a mediation, we usually grant the Respondent an extension and then take their default to save them the $435.00 filing fee.
With either method, there can be an agreement submitted to the Court. The advantage of mediation is that you can plan the timing of the signature of the agreement which becomes part of the Judgment. This gives you more control of the process.
In a litigated case, the worst case scenario, is when the parties don’t agree which leads to much more document preparation, court appearances, and legal fees. In a litigated case, you also have to complete the Disclosure documents AGAIN in a Final Declaration of Disclosure. (This step can be waived if an agreement is reached.)
It is not uncommon for the court appearances - Settlement Conferences and Trial Dates to be continued for several years while the parties attempt to either reach an agreement or gather more evidence to support their claims at trial.
In the situation where the parties reach an agreement early in the mediation process, the final paperwork can be submitted along with the initial Petition which greatly shortens the Court process.
This is the step where the advantages of mediation are most apparent. It not only takes, the emotions and needs of the parties into consideration, but it allows them to control the timing of the final paperwork.
We are here to help and answer your questions about the process.
Contact Us to Learn More.
Email us at Debra@DebraCrawfordAnnis.com, or call us at 831-372-3900 or text us at 831-275-5291 (275-LAW1).