During mediation, you and your spouse meet with an experienced family law mediator to resolve your issues. Mediation is conducted in a relaxed, comfortable office atmosphere with the mediator and the parties.
Often during high conflict cases, the involved parties are in separate rooms and the mediator literally walks back and forth between the conference rooms negotiating until agreements can be made.
Family law mediation can be used to help you with issues such as divorce, separation, child custody, child support, post decree modifications, disputes about parenting issues post-divorce, domestic partnership issues with children and property, unmarried persons issues with children and property, grandparent rights, and relocation.
You and your spouse will meet with one of our Mediators. During the first 30 minutes, we will discuss the benefits, the ground rules, and the process. If everyone agrees to continue with the mediation, both parties will sign a confidentiality agreement and the mediation will begin.
We will help you divide and decide whatever your issues are. You will be able to find answers, security and peace and mind and leave with a written agreement.
Both parties and our mediator begin the Mediation. We start by outlining the goals and objectives of both sides. Then the mediator will create a plan on how to reach those goals through negotiation and settlement.
If agreements can be reached at this stage, those agreements can be put in writing and signed by the parties. Once agreements are made, a Memo of Understanding can be drafted and signed.
During this stage, we will finalize the agreements (Memo of Understanding) and draft the final documents. Once both parties have signed the Memo of Understanding, the mediator can draft the final documents to be filed with the court.
Once both parties sign the documents, we can file the final documents with the court. When the decree or final order is signed and recorded by the Court, you are finished with the process.
If you need to actually file for divorce, we can help with that paperwork also. We can draft all the necessary documents (for a flat fee) that the court requires, from beginning to end.
Mediation leaves the decision power strictly with the parties. The mediator does not decide what is fair or who is right or wrong. The mediator’s goal is to act as a channel between opposing sides attempting to bring them together by defining issues and creating solutions. The mediator will, however, seek concessions from each side during the mediation process. This helps move the mediation process along. Best Law Firm provides experienced family law attorneys who can help guide you.
When both parties come to mediation voluntarily, we expect that both parties act in good faith and have a desire to find a resolution. We encourage participants to listen calmly to the other party, even if you disagree with their statements. We have found that it is also helpful for both parties to share an active role in the decision-making process. Finally, full disclosure of all debts and assets and information required in Rule 49 are necessary. These obligations will be discussed in Part One of the mediation.
Mediation is the most efficient and economical way to get a divorce. Mediations are on average 5-6 times cheaper than a traditional divorce.
The cost of mediation depends on how agreeable the parties are and on how complex the issues are. The rates for our mediators start at $200.00 per hour. Mediations can take as little as 2 hours or they can last for several sessions. It all depends on you and your spouse’s ability to cooperate and agree on the issues. The typical mediation lasts about 3 hours. But if it only takes 2 hours, you only pay for two hours.
Mediation is designed to help parents focus on the best interests of the children. The mediation process helps the parties’ remain aware that despite their differences that brought them to the mediation process; they must continue to communicate for the sake of their child. The mediation process will preserve the parties’ relationship, which will benefit the child in the future years. It is also important to recognize future issues that may arise and put a mechanism in place that will prevent future litigation.
The relaxed atmosphere of mediation allows for creative settlements that are tailored to the parties’ individualized circumstances. Mediation permits the parties to control the outcome of their case; rather than the court. The tailored agreements typically result from both parties’ determination of how they will share their child, how they will make major decisions concerning their children, who will pay child support and how much, and how to equitably divide property and debts.