When a client comes in and asks if they have to file for divorce if they go through mediation, that’s the point in time that I have to explain the divorce process to them so they can understand why the question may not reflect what they want to know. The purpose of mediation is to bring you and your spouse to a point where you wind up with a settlement agreement. The point of that settlement agreement is to be able to live separate and apart under a set of circumstances regarding custody, asset division, and more.
Once you have that settlement agreement, you can then apply for a divorce or you need not, depending on how things work out. You could simply live separate and apart under a separation agreement for the rest of your lives. There’s no reason to get a divorce. You can have mediation and never, ever go to court or file for divorce. However, in the event that you and your spouse simply cannot come to an agreement, your case may, in fact, end up going to court over matters such as the division of assets or child custody.
Leslye M. Schlesinger is an experienced divorce attorney from New City, NY serving Rockland and Westchester County with compassion and integrity. She helps clients through alternative dispute resolution. If you need an attorney to guide you through the alternatives to litigation, contact Leslye M. Schlesinger for a consultation.