Response and settlement

I have served my papers and I know my soon to be ex disagrees with one of my requests but she has not responded yet but she is already talking mediation. Now if I am not mistaken first she must respond first if she is going to contest, otherwise I just proceed with an uncontested unsigned divorce if she refuses to do her paperwork, next if she contests can’t we just come to an agreement on our own without mediation? Would we still have to complete form RI-FL014 for settlement conference and trial when neither of us wants trial or would I just amend the FL 100 when we come to agreement on the 1 issue and then go on or with the closing paperwork?

Many couples engage in the mediation process without filing a response (and often times start without filing the petition). The goal would be to reached an uncontested settlement even with a default filing. That said, you are correct in that your spouse is at risk for you proceeding forward with the divorce without her if she doesn’t respond.

Mediation is certainly not for everyone, but it can be a very useful method by which to reach an agreement. Often times divorcing spouses find communication difficult, and a mediator can help bridge the gaps and minimize the conflict. I generally encourage couples to explore whether or not mediation is a good fit for their needs-educated decisions are always the best!

Finally, an agreement means no trial, but a settlement conference is another way of leading to an agreement. During a settlement conference, the judge acts like a mediator of sorts and tries to help the two of you reach agreement. If you reach an agreement, you submit your final FL-180, without any need to amend FL-100.

So if she responds and contests but she and I discuss things and agree on this issue we do not need to file the settlement conference we can instead file our final agreement FL-180 instead. I am trying to avoid trial and the cost of mediation as well. Plus we do talk I believe we should be able to hash out one single issue.