What is divorce mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary process in which a neutral third party helps parties to make informed decisions together about parenting and finances in order to reach the mutually agreeable terms of their divorce.
Why choose Mediation?
Divorce is a stressful, and often painful, process. Divorce litigation increases not only the emotional stress for divorcing families, but creates a heavy financial burden. The sad reality is that in most cases, the only parties who “win” in divorce litigation are the attorneys involved. By contrast, divorce mediation is an informal process that allows the parties to keep control of the process, reduce expenses significantly, and work together to create a settlement agreement that both people can live with. Research also shows that compliance and satisfaction with mediated agreements is higher than when imposed by a court, resulting in less post-divorce litigation.
Mediation significantly reduces hostile feelings during and after the divorce, so that individuals can better adjust to the divorce and plan for the future, which is particularly important when children are involved.
Can we mediate if we can’t communicate?
Yes. Qualified mediators are trained to help parties shift into new and productive ways of communicating and problem solving, even while they are working towards their divorce.
How long does mediation take?
The pace of mediation is determined by the parties - not by the court, attorneys or a judge. Unlike litigation (which can take one to two years to complete), mediation is typically completed within a few months. Each mediation session lasts for about two hours, and sessions are typically scheduled two weeks apart. An average mediation takes between six to ten hours to complete. However, the number of sessions varies case to case, depending on the issues involved. The parties determine all of these details, depending on what works for the particular individuals and issues involved.
Who is involved in mediation?
The divorcing parties and the mediator are involved in mediation. The parties can also involve other professional experts such as attorneys, accountants, lawyers, financial planners and child psychologists.
Both parties are encouraged to seek independent legal advice during the mediation process. Even if the mediator is a lawyer, the mediator is a neutral party and cannot provide either party with legal advice, only legal information.
How much does mediation cost?
Mediation costs a fraction of litigation. There is one fee for both parties, not two. In most litigated cases, the retainer required by one party’s litigation attorney costs equal to or greater than the combined total cost of mediation.
Mediation is charged on an hourly basis. Please contact us for our rates.