What is Mediation

People are demanding more control and direction over the resolution of their divorces and family law disputes than ever before. They understand the need to accept responsibility for and maintain direction of their lives and families, even as those families are separating. Each family=s situation is unique, and no longer are they willing to accept the same cookie cutter approach to their divorce as may be applied to other families.

Divorce mediation is a private, informal, confidential and cost-effective process whereby two parties meet with a neutral mediator to reach an amicable resolution of their divorce issues specifically tailored to their individual circumstances and needs. The divorce mediator does not represent either party. Although many divorce mediators are lawyers, they aren't advocates for either side. Mediation is also much less adversarial than litigation, which is an important consideration when dealing with such emotional issues as children and support.

Divorce mediation is not arbitration. The divorce mediator doesn't make the decision for you, but helps you reach your agreement. You get to create the solutions that work for you and your family in a private, confidential setting. You can, but are not required to, have a consulting attorney to advise you during the process and to review the final settlement before you sign it. Among the advantages of divorce mediation are:
  • You can create a solution which works for your family.
  • You retain more control over your divorce and your family estate.
  • It is quick. You set the timetable to suit your convenience, not the judge=s.
  • The time is set aside for you, so you don=t have to wait for another case to finish before you can start yours, or worse, have to come back another day.
  • You discuss your divorce in private, not in a public setting with twenty or more strangers in the room.
  • The mediator can prepare the required divorce paperwork or you can do it yourselves.
  • You reduce conflict, an especially important consideration when children are involved and you will be interacting with each other around your children=s activities long after the divorce is over.
  • It is cost-effective. You pay less in attorney fees, which means you retain more of your estate for yourselves and your family.

Questions to Ask Your Mediator

  1. What percentage of your practice is divorce mediation?
  2. Will you mediate our divorce if we do not have consulting attorneys?
  3. How would you describe your style of divorce mediation?
  4. Who does the necessary paperwork for the divorce?
  5. Will you talk to my consulting attorney?
  6. How long will it take?  How much will it cost?
  7. What can I do to make my divorce mediation as efficient and cost-effective as possible?
  8. What are your requirements for billing and payment?
  9. What resources should I look into to prepare myself for my divorce mediation?

Questions to Ask Your Consulting Attorney

  1. How much of your practice is devoted to divorce and family law? To cases like mine?
  2. What is your experience as a consulting attorney in mediated divorces? Are you comfortable acting as a consulting attorney in a divorce mediation?
  3. Will you work with my divorce mediator if I ask you to?
  4. If my spouse and I work out a mediated divorce agreement and I bring it to you for review, what happens next?
  5. What should I know about the issues of my divorce case before I meet with my spouse and the mediator?
  6. What are your requirements for billing and payment?
  7. What resources should I look into to prepare myself for my divorce mediation? Books? Videos? Websites?


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