Frequently Asked Questions
About Family and Divorce Mediation

Q. What is Mediation?
A. Mediation is a process in which two or more people meet with a neutral third party, a mediator, who helps you reach agreement on a wide range of the issues you might bring to the mediation.

Q. What is Family Mediation?
A. Family mediation is a way for family members to reach agreement on family related matters (parent/child, stepfamily, elder care, family business, wills and estates) with the help of a mediator.

Q. What is Divorce Mediation?
A. Divorce mediation is an enlightened way to resolve financial and parenting issues when couples make the difficult wrenching decision to separate and divorce. The cooperative mediation approach seeks to minimize an adversarial process; a trained and skilled mediator helps people settle those issues that will become the basis for a formal separation agreement or a divorce document.

Q. Who can use Divorce Mediation?
A. Mediation is for you if you:

  1. Want control over the decisions affecting your life.
  2. Want cooperative, long term family solutions, focusing on the future for yourself and your children.
  3. Want to avoid lawyer-driven or court ordered decisions.
  4. Want to reduce the time, stress, and expense of a divorce

Q. What is the Mediator’s role?
A. The mediator is a neutral third party who provides a confidential and structured environment in which you can make decisions. The mediator is a skilled facilitator who helps you reach an agreement, but who cannot impose a settlement. The mediator suggests options and possible ways to resolve disagreements. The mediator cannot provide counseling or give legal advice; she can, however, provide you with a legal education by sharing her knowledge of current divorce law.

Q. What is the Attorney’s role?
A. You may have an attorney at any time during, or after, a mediation. In simple agreements, one attorney may be used to prepare the legal documents; he or she would not represent either of you. Attorneys often refer clients to mediation to give them a chance to work out their decisions.

Q. What are the advantages of Divorce Mediation?
A. With Divorce Mediation:

  1. You can save time, money, and stress.
  2. You can focus on preserving both parents’ relationship with the children through your personal parenting plan.
  3. You can decide how to restructure your finances in a fair and equitable way.
  4. You can avoid the emotional trauma of litigation.
  5. You are in charge of the agreements reached.

Q. How long is a typical Divorce Mediation?
A. In general, mediation is a short term process, especially if there are no children involved. Depending on the sessions’ schedule, work can be completed in a matter of days or weeks.

Q. What does a Mediation cost?
A. Fees vary among mediators. The average cost of mediation can be far less than the cost of litigation (attorneys and courts). Mediation fees are often based on a sliding scale, and are shared in a manner that you decide. There is usually also a fee for the preparation of the resultant Agreement.