Yes, you read that correctly. It can and has been done. I have successfully mediated a divorce which took only one session. The couple had no children, no real estate, and very few assets and debts. They both wanted to reach an agreement quickly and were willing to work together toward that goal.
There was preparation. I had instructed each party to exchange financial information and given them an outline of the issues to be discussed. After the session which lasted two and a half hours, we had notes on which to base their agreement. I drafted the agreement and then sent the draft to both parties for their review. They each had their reviewing attorney read the agreement and advise them as to whether they should sign it or ask for revisions. Both reviewing attorneys were satisfied, so we got back together to execute the agreement and then they filed their final paperwork.
Although the preparation time, drafting time, reviewing time, and execution time all added up, the actual time we sat down and mediated was quite short.
Most of the time, it is not that simple. Children, assets, and debts certainly add additional issues which need to be discussed and therefore take more time. In fact, when the couple has children, I generally let them know that we will likely spend at least one entire session on custody and parenting time alone.
For those looking for a solution to their problem, mediation can be less costly, faster, and have a more satisfying result than traditional methods of divorce!
Deborah E. Kaminetzky, Esq.
Kaminetzky Law & Mediation, P.C.
132 Spruce Street
Cedarhurst, New York 11516