Mediation is a process by which participants talk to each other with the goal of finding an acceptable resolution to whatever they may be in conflict about. Participants are assisted in this process by a mediator, who acts as a neutral to facilitate the conversation. The conversation can occur over time, requiring multiple sessions. Usually the desired result is some type of agreement by which the parties involved can abide and follow. A successful mediation is one where each party is able to speak freely, feels heard, feels understood and is able to listen and understand the other party's perspective.
When mediating, your mediator will hear perspectives from each participant and through active/reflective listening, they will help the parties identify and discuss the issues. They do not sit in judgment, nor do they express personal opinions. They may work with parties to problem-solve, if that is their desire.
Is Mediation right for you?
If you feel you can make decisions for yourself, follow through on whatever promises you make, be willing to agree to disagree, and be willing to hear and consider another perspective, you should be able to participate in mediation. If you both desire to maintain a changed relationship with each other, such as co-parents or simply friends, mediation can be a cost-effective option to get there.
As lawyers, we can also draft a legal document such as a separation agreement or parenting plan after the mediation has completed and each party has consulted with independent counsel. Additionally, if clients desire it, I can prepare any necessary court documents and submit them to the court to finalize their divorce.
We offer a free half-hour consultation to discuss your situation, answer your questions and give you an opportunity to assess how well mediation may fit your needs. Both parties are recommended to be present at the consultation.
Typically, each mediation session takes 1 ½ to 2 hours. Fees are paid at the time of service.