Frequently Asked Questions About Mediation

How long does it take?

Most mediation cases will take between one and three sessions. We meet together for 2-hour sessions. We schedule sessions a week or so apart so that you have time to gather the information you need between appointments. If you are both prepared, the mediation process moves quickly. Most mediations are rapidly finalized in a few weeks. When we meet for our consultation, you will receive an estimate of how long your case may take based on the information you provide to the mediator.

What are the topics?

During the mediation session, we discuss all the topics that are important to you both. After the initial consultation, your mediator provides a list of important items and worksheets you may need to prepare for your mediation. Sharing your financial information and documents with each other ahead of time will be helpful so that you can make informed decisions for your future.

How does mediation differ from court?

In the mediation process, you never have to go to court. If you choose to litigate and take your case to court, it may take several years and is significantly more expensive. Mediation is confidential, affordable, and efficient. Your mediator accomplishes this by carefully guiding you through the process step by step, helping couples to focus on important financial needs and the best interests of the children. In court, a judge or attorney decides your family’s future, and your children are often used as pawns.

Does mediation require a retainer?

NO! Unlike most family law attorneys who demand upfront retainers of $5,000 to $10,000 or more for family law matters, I do not require a retainer for mediation. You simply pay as you go for each session you request. This helps you budget so that you are not financially strained during the process. You can divide the fees between each other and pay by check, cash, or credit card. Costs are always much lower for mediation, and most folks are quite surprised by how inexpensive a mediated process can be. Your mediator will always give you the fees upfront, with no surprises.

We are not really getting along, can we still mediate?

YES! Most mediating couples are amicable, but many couples are nervous about mediating difficult conversations. Even if you are struggling to communicate well, it is possible to work together peacefully with the help of a qualified mediator. Although initially, emotions can run high, most individuals quickly calm down and participate effectively to solve problems. Mediators are trained to guide you step by step using a mediation process that avoids attacks on each other and helps you work together through the process.

Do I need my own attorney or another professional?

You may wish to obtain advice from your own professionals such as therapists, accountants, financial planners, lawyers, real estate agents, and others during the mediation process. In family matters, it is not always wise to rely on advice from your family and friends, even if it is well-intentioned. Trained therapists or counselors can help with the emotional issues that may come up during the divorce process. If you find that you need extra support, your mediator will provide a list of recommended professionals that can help.

What situations are great for mediation?

Mediation will resolve most situations, even complicated and high-net-worth cases. You will decide on the exact same issues during the mediation process as if you went to court. The difference is that you make decisions for yourself and your family instead of a judge or lawyer. It is quite empowering to determine your own future!

What situations are not good for mediation?

Not all cases are good for mediation, specifically cases involving physical or other abuse, or if an individual is impaired by addiction or a mental health disability that prevents that person from making decisions for themselves. Your mediator will screen for these issues during the consultation to determine whether your case is a good case for mediation. If there are concerns, your mediator will refer you to a competent professional.

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NOT LEGAL ADVICE: The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.