What is mediation?
What are the advantages of mediation?
- Financial Savings: An agreement in mediation can save the expense of paying two lawyers to battle each other, as well as the other expenses of litigation (filing fees, deposition, etc.). The savings to each side can literally be thousands of dollars.
- Conflict Resolution: Mediation provides a far more efficient and expeditious end to disagreements than the justice system. The sooner an agreement is reached, the sooner both sides can cease fighting. And if children are involved, a harmonious parting is the best benefit you can provide to you them. On the other hand, if you part ways and continue to fight, you have failed to improve anything for your children.
- Control: When you go to court, your fate and that of your children is in the hands of the lawyers and the judge. The situation is fraught with uncertainty as to the outcome, cost and delay. Mediation, on the other hand, provides certainty and a relatively rapid solution. This is particularly important in matters of child custody as the parents are in a far superior position to know what is best for their children.
- Privacy: Going to court necessarily involves “airing the dirty laundry” of both sides. Mediation provides a confidential and private alternative. The mediation process is a confidential one and no participant may disclose the substance of the negotiations or any information acquired during it.
Do I need a lawyer for mediation?
What does mediation cost?
No “retainer” or advance deposit is required, but mediation is paid for as the work is performed. Payment can be cash, check, certified funds or credit card, and it will be expected the same day the mediation services are rendered. Finally, typically each party pays for one-half of the expense.
What documents do I need to bring to the mediation?
If your case is just starting, and child support or spousal support (alimony) is an issue, both parties should also bring:
- Copy of two (2) most recent income tax returns, together with supporting documentation which must include W2 Forms;
- Last four (4) check stubs, or a statement from employer as to how you are paid (salary, hourly, commission, etc.) as well as your year-to-date income and the period of time that income covers if it has not been the entire year;
- If applicable, proof of private school tuition, fees, books, registration, technology, etc, from the school;
- If applicable, a statement from the child care provider documenting the cost; and
- If applicable, the cost of health insurance attributable to the minor child(ren) only.
Is there anything else I need to do or bring?
If the issue is dividing up property, then you should both complete the form on the web site called a Detailed Descriptive List, along
What happens at the mediation?
There is also generally a list of issues which need to be resolved and we address each one. Sometimes an agreement is reached by parties compromising, and other times parties will agree to give the other side their way on an issue, in exchange for what they want on another one.
Is an agreement reached in mediation enforceable?
What happens if we fail to work out all the issues?