Covid-19 Precautions: All Mediations are being Conducted Remotely.
Attorneys represent individuals, so they can advise only one of the people in a couple. They maintain licenses that allow them to do all of the document preparation that is required by a court for divorce. Mediators work with the whole family in mind, helping find a fair settlement. Mediators help facilitate conversations, problem solve, and find solutions. Both of the people involved in mediation sessions maintain the ability to make decisions for their family when working together with a mediator.
Private mediation is entered into by families who are committed to resolving their family transition with very little involvement with the legal system. Private divorce mediation is paid for by the couple, who are focused on finding solutions with respect and without vengeance. If children are involved, parents focus on the parenting plan first and then move into the topics of property and debt sharing. Child and spousal support issues can also be addressed.
Private divorce mediation begins with a consultation with the couple together. We review the topics we’ll cover together and the type of services to be provided. After that initial meeting, we will focus on the parenting plan. Other sessions focus on financial matters.
It depends on the complexity of the situation. Each session is typically one hour long. A simple divorce typically requires between 6 and 9 hours, although families with minimal differences that need to be resolved can take less time. Complicated situations may require significantly more time. For court-mandated mediation, the court pays for 6-8 hours of mediation time.
The court has referred you to Kristen, a professional family mediator, for mediation related to a parenting plan for your children. Topics are generally limited to custody/decision making and parenting time schedules. In some instances parents can address child support and financial issues in their court-connected mediations. The court pays for these mediation services, which are limited in scope and hours. You must have a referral from the Court for this program.
The first meeting is short and focuses on procedures for the divorce mediation meetings. These intake appointments begin with general information about mediation and then move on to more specifics. For example, we’ll discuss how a mediation session is focused on the future, unlike a trial that looks at facts about things that happened in the past. This first session is usually 15-20 minutes for each spouse and is done separately. The sessions following this intake session can be a joint session or individual, depending on what is best to productively move the conversation forward. Court-connected mediation is typically focused solely on the parenting plan and is tailored to the needs of the court case.
If after all the options have been explored through mediation, a couple still cannot agree on a way forward, it is possible to move into a different form of alternative dispute resolution, such as using arbitration or a trial court.
Private mediation is billed at $200 per hour. Typically the divorcing couple splits this cost, making private mediation much more cost-effective than working through separate attorneys and the court system.
Children can be included in mediation sessions for specific purposes, after carefully establishing procedures for their participation. If a divorcing couple wants to include children, creating a plan for inclusion can be part of the mediation process. Before children are included it is important to make sure they will be supported appropriately and not made to feel like they are being fought over.