MEDIATOR FOR DIVORCE, SEPARATION, PROPERTY DIVISION, CUSTODY, OR SUPPORT
Is mediation right for your divorce or separation? Learn how mediation may offer a faster, better, and more cost-effective outcome. Compared to the traditional litigation route, mediation with Mediation Masters offers the following benefits:
- You control the outcome. If you take your case to court, it will be the judge – not you – who will make the final decision. With mediation, you are always in control, as there is no resolution unless both sides reach an agreement.
- Mediation tends to lead to results much faster than litigation. You and you’re your spouse or partner will control how soon the mediation occurs, which might be as soon as a couple of weeks from when a mediation is requested.
- The mediation itself will be held around your schedule. The mediation can even take place on a weekend. You won’t need to be concerned with working around the schedule of a judge, or taking time off of work.
- Mediation is usually much less expensive than traditional litigation. Even if you retain a lawyer to represent you, legal fees can be less than a drawn-out litigation, which may take months or longer to complete.
- The mediation is confidential. You won’t need to be concerned that your personal matters will be heard by a judge in an open court.
- The format of a mediation can be less adversarial. The traditional litigation process pits one side against the other in a “winner-take-all” contest. Mediation, by contrast, seeks to reach resolution between the parties, where each side understands that they will need to give a little in order to ultimately reach an acceptable resolution.
- Mediation may be the best for children. If you and your spouse or partner have children together, while you may no longer be a couple, you will need to interact with each other on a going-forward basis as you co-parent your children. It will be in everyone’s interest – especially the interest of younger children – to be able to resolve differences as amicably as possible.
We invite you to call Mediation Masters to find out how we can help. We can answer your questions, and schedule a mediation at your convenience.
In the interim, we invite you to learn more about divorce mediation through the FAQs below.
Divorce mediation is a process where the parties hire a mediator to help them to draft a separation agreement which will be approved by the Court. The parties work with the mediator to identify and resolve issues pertaining to children, finances, and support. The mediator does not advocate for either party or make decisions. The mediator helps the parties to explore all of their options and the consequences. The process is confidential, unlike in Court where all of your issues are aired in public.
You may, but are not required to, be represented by an attorney at mediation. It is recommended that each party retain an attorney to review the separation agreement before it is filed with the Court. Mediation Masters has a panel of attorneys to recommend to the parties.
The most common issues are:
- Legal and Physical Custody
- Parenting Time/Plans
- Parental Communication
- Relocation of a Parent
- Education, Medical and Extra Curricular expenses
DIVISION OF ASSETS AND DEBTS:
- Real Estate, including the marital home
- Personal Property i.e. cars, boats, jewelry, art work
- Bank Accounts
- Investment Accounts
- Retirement Accounts
- Premarital Assets
- Joint and individual debts
- Child Support
- Health Insurance
- Child Care Costs
- College Costs
Depending on the complexity of the parties issues the mediator may recommend the use of various experts to ensure that the agreement is fair and reasonable. Such experts may include real estate appraisers, financial/tax advisors, business valuation expert.
Each session generally lasts 2-3 hours. The average time to reach an agreement is between 9-12 hours. The number of sessions depends on the issues you are facing and the level of agreement between the parties. Once all the issues have been decided a formal separation agreement will be drafted. It generally takes between one and two years to get a final agreement in a litigated case.
The parties must file their agreement and other required documents with the Court and attend a hearing before a Judge to have the agreement approved.
Mediation is charged on an hourly basis of $375 per hour. When mediation is completed a formal agreement and required divorce papers will be drafted for an hourly fee of $375. This is the total cost, not per party as in a litigated divorce where both parties pay an attorney an hourly fee often times greater than the hourly fee for mediation.
Unlike a litigated divorce where parties are required to pay a retainer of $5,000, $10,000 or more mediation does not require a retainer. You simply pay to reserve 2 hours (1 hour per party) of the mediator’s time in advance when you reserve the time slot with Mediation Masters and pay the balance at the end of each session. We accept cash, checks and credit cards.
Our mediators assist you in creating options and solving problems that encourages you to attack the issues, not one another. The mediator will not allow one party to overpower the other. Parties tend to approach the process in a calm manner once they realize that they can resolve the issues without the high emotional and financial cost of a litigated divorce. The presence of a neutral third party who is trained to facilitate constructive conversations dramatically changes the dynamics of a divorcing couple and an amicable resolution is possible even if you do not get along.
Yes. Absolutely. In fact many Judges encourage the parties to do so. Just be aware that the Court case has strict deadlines so you will need to consult your attorney or the Court as to how mediation will fit into the case schedule.