» Mediation

My Spouse and I Want to Start Mediation. How Do We Begin?

For a step-by-step guide on how to begin the mediation process, please read our blog titled, “How to Begin the Mediation Process.”

I Already Filed a Complaint for Divorce. Can We Still Go to Mediation?

Yes.  Even though a Complaint has been filed in your matter, you still can go to mediation with the other party. 

How Many Sessions Will it Take to Settle My Case?

There is no way to predict how many mediation sessions it will take to settle your case.  The number of sessions you will need depends on many variables out of the mediator’s control, such as the outstanding issues involved, the complexity of the finances involved, whether custody is disputed, the opposing positions on all issues, the personalities involved, the cooperation of both parties, etc.

The purpose of the first session is to identify what the issues in the case will be and what work will have to be done to resolve those issues.  For example, parties to a divorce may need an appraisal to be prepared to negotiate for a piece of property or on a piece of jewelry.  There may also need to be a document exchange (such as retirement account information, bank statements, credit card statements, etc.)  so that each party has a comfort level with the finances of the marriage.  The second session is usually when the negotiations can really start in earnest (after all the prep work is completed following the first session). 

It is not uncommon for three or more sessions to be required before the case is settled.  However, some cases are limited to very few issues and involve two people who are dedicated to resolving them all amicably.  Those can often be resolved much faster. 

If I Have to Pay for a Mediator, How is it Cheaper Than Negotiating Through the Court Process or Directly With My Spouse?

Mediation is often the quickest and most cost-effective way to settle your case for many reasons.  It forces all parties to come together and negotiate issues in real time.  The mediator is there to preserve decorum and fairness (e.g., no one is allowed to talk over each other, everyone gets time to express their point of view, etc.).  The mediator is also there to keep track of the proposals and ensures that there is no backtracking, which is often a frustrating part of negotiating if there is no third party to officiate the negotiations.

What Does Mediation Cost?

Mediators charge hourly rates and often require a retainer payment before the process can begin.  The total cost of your mediation experience depends on the hourly rate of your mediator and the amount of time used for your case, whether it is spent in mediation sessions, drafting your agreement or communicating with you by phone, letter or email. 

How Much Does a Mediation Consultation Cost?

Our mediation consultations are treated differently than all others.  They are approximately 30 minutes in length, are conducted by phone with both parties and are free of charge.  The purpose of a mediation consultation is not for us to give legal advice, but rather to explain and answer your questions regarding the mediation process.  In the event you retain an attorney from our firm to mediate your case, that attorney will mediate your matter at a reduced hourly rate used only for our mediation services. 

How Do We Know if Mediation is the Right Choice for Us?

We encourage you to read our blog article titled, “Are you a Good Candidate for Mediation?”