Filing a petition for dissolution of marriage (divorce) simply opens a file at the courthouse and gives you a file number to use in the future. Nothing else will ever happen if no one files anything further. In fact in many counties, the court is obligated to close the case if no one files anything else within a 3-5-year period.
You have full support. Unlike in mediation, you have a lot of support and guidance throughout your Collaborative Divorce. A mediator is neutral, so he/she cannot advise you or advocate for either of you. The mediator should educate you about the law and can facilitate the conversation between you and your partner, but cannot stop you from making an uninformed or unwise decision. If you like the idea of mediation but feel that you would benefit from having your own lawyer’s guidance and support, Collaborative Divorce is the process to consider.
Prospective clients often call me to say they have just been told that their spouse wants a divorce, they are frightened and have no idea where to start. I usually suggest they attend a free online Divorce Options Workshop.
Remember that the right amount of child support, is not always what a computer program comes up with. The better description might be the amount that will meet the reasonable needs of your children without causing significant detriment to the person paying or receiving it.