How Long Does Divorce Mediation Take
Written by Michelle Ogborne

How Long Does Divorce Mediation Take?

Divorce mediation does not happen overnight. It can take days, weeks, or months to resolve a divorce matter, depending on the ability of you and your soon to be ex-spouse to discuss issues and reach a result that satisfies both parties. The complexity of your case will also determine how long your divorce mediation takes.

Divorce mediation is confidential, handled out of court, usually less expensive than litigating a divorce in court, and gives you – not a judge – more control over the outcome of your divorce.

Divorce mediation is often a faster process than traditional divorce. According to FindLaw, “Every case is different, but the average case usually takes at least three to four two-hour mediation sessions, spread out over at least a month or two. More complex cases can take four to six months to complete.

Substantive Issues Can Be Resolved in Days, Weeks, or Months

As previously mentioned, the length of the divorce mediation process depends largely on the level of cooperation of both parties.  Substantive issues such as legal decision making, child support, spousal support, valuation of assets, debt, property, and other issues can be negotiated and resolved in as little as a few days or as much as several months depending on the complexity of the issues.

Changing Your Marital Status Does Not Happen Immediately

Changing your marital status from single to married requires certain formalities. In Arizona, the statute requires a minimum of 60 days between the start of the divorce action and the submission of the settlement documents to the judge for approval. Substantive issues are often settled first before the 60-day period passes, so there may be a delay between reaching agreements and submitting the documents to the court.. Your divorce is final when the judge has signed and the court clerk has entered the Decree In most cases resolved by mediation, neither party needs to appear in court.

Factors That Affect How Long Mediation Takes

Divorce mediation has many advantages over traditional litigation. One of the biggest benefits of divorce mediation versus traditional divorce is the cost. Mediation is usually much less expensive than paying attorneys to attend a series of hearings or a court trial, but even if you choose the mediation process, you may still want to consult with an attorney to review your divorce settlement agreement. Mediation is also typically quicker than divorce in court, but there are many factors that affect how long your mediation will take including:

Assets. The more complicated your assets are, or the more you disagree about how to divide those assets, the longer your divorce mediation will take.

Legal Decision Making and Parenting Time. Being prepared to discuss and compromise about child related-issues can decrease the time spent in mediation. You may spend a good amount of time discussing the advantages and disadvantages of various options, but if you are patient and willing to consider your spouse’s position and vice versa, you will likely end up with a resolution that works for everyone.

Support-Related Issues. Many divorces involve issues related to child support and spousal support. If both spouses are forthcoming and willing to share information about their incomes, expenses and other relevant matters, these discussions may not cause a delay in the mediation process; however, if either spouse believes the other is not being honest, these issues may take several discussions to come to an agreement.

Compromise. A mediator cannot give either party legal advice. The mediator isn’t going to force you to compromise or tell you what to do. A mediator’s job is to help you communicate and discuss options until you can reach a result that satisfies both parties. If both parties are committed to the process, mediation can be a productive way to resolve your divorce.


  1. Nolo. “How Long Does a Mediated Divorce Take?”, Nolo, 7 Apr. 2013,
  2. “How Long Does Mediation Take?: Del Mar Divorce Mediation Lawyers.” Gavin & Dersch Law and Mediation,
  3. “Divorce Mediation FAQ.” Findlaw,

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Speak with Our Divorce Mediators In Arizona Today!

While the divorce mediation process is not for everyone, this process can save you money, stress, and hassle. Speak with a divorce mediator to find out if divorce mediation is right for your family. Many of the professionals on are also divorce mediators and can provide you with a great deal of information about your options.


Divorce litigation can be scary and emotionally draining for you, your spouse, and your children. But it doesn’t have to be that way with collaborative divorce. The collaborative process can result in a less expensive, more efficient, and less harmful outcome for everyone involved. One of the legalfinancial, and communication professionals at Best Legal Choices can help you navigate this difficult time in your life.