This page will help you learn more about divorce mediation. Can this process help you to end your marriage peacefully? Below are some common questions and answers to help you decide.What is divorce mediation?
ANSWER: Divorce mediation is a voluntary and confidential process in which each spouse decides what he or she wants and then decide, on their own and with help from me or some other mediator, mutually acceptable terms for their settlement. As your mediator, I then write the draft of a legally binding Separation Agreement for you to review and revise as you see fit. Couples can mediate their parenting plans, child support and alimony provisions, health insurance, college and other child related costs and how they wish to divide their property and debts.
In order for mediation to work, both parties must be willing to engage in the process, and either can choose to end the mediation at any time. As your mediator, I do not decide who is right or wrong or who gets what. I do not render a “decision” because everything is up to you. My job is to help you address all the issues you should include in your Separation Agreement which is the document you file with Court as the central part of your divorce.
Why mediate vs. litigate?
ANSWER: In most situations, mediation is always less expensive than hiring an attorney to go to Court. In addition, mediation is generally less stressful than litigation and can actually foster and improve communication between the parties. Most importantly, mediation allows both you and your spouse to take control over the process instead of letting another person who does not know you or your family make decisions for you. Mediation allows you and your spouse to decide what the terms of your agreement will be.
Is mediation effective for every situation?
ANSWER: Most cases can be mediated. Some cases, such as those involving domestic violence, may not be appropriate for mediation. It is important to be as honest as possible when communicating with your mediator so she can give you a fair assessment about whether or not mediation makes sense for you and your situation.
How much does mediation cost and how long does it take?
ANSWER: I charge $375 per hour for mediation. Most sessions consist of two hour blocks of time. It is important to know that the amount of time it takes really depends on you and the nature of the issues you need to sort out. Most mediations, including the time it takes outside of the session for the mediator to prepare your separation agreement, take between 6 and 10 hours total.
Will we be able to file for divorce at the end of the mediation?
ANSWER: Yes. The separation agreement that your mediator will prepare is the most important document you need in order to get divorced. Once the separation agreement is signed, my website provides you with information and additional forms you will need in order to file for divorce.Do I need an attorney?
ANSWER: There is no legal requirement for an attorney. Whether you hire an attorney or any other advisor, such as a financial planner or parent coordinator, is up to you.How do I know if mediation is right for me?
ANSWER: Many people choose mediation as a way to avoid litigation for financial and/or emotional reasons. Although you will be ending your marriage, you may both want to do so in as healthy a way as possible, especially if there are children involved. It is important to know what you want and to be able to stick up for yourself. A good way to decide about mediation is for you both to meet with me for a free half hour and then decide if you want to continue. You can always end the mediation if you do not think it is working for you. I would also be happy to speak with you about the mediation process.