Right Triangle Divorce Mediation Services
Once a couple decides on getting divorced, both of them are embarking on one of the most emotional experiences of their adult lives. The cost, the legal battle, the uncertainty and constant conflict makes this process even worse. Through the use of divorce mediation you are able to minimize the impact of divorce for your self, your kids and everyone around you. The divorce mediator is here to assist and empower both parties to make the most informed decisions possible and help you go through the dissolution process as smoothly as you can.
The Divorce Mediation Process
The process utilized for divorce is a fairly simple one and can be broken down to a few basic aspects.
- Initial Consultation
- Joint Sessions
- Individual Sessions
- Independent Legal Review
Mediation itself is an assisted negotiation process. It is the job of the mediator to assist you in coming up with ways to resolve your differences and negotiate a resolution on all issues. The goal is to do so in the most comfortable and productive setting possible. The basic outline above helps accomplish that, but the same outline can branch out towards other processes at anytime depending on your individual situation. All of this will be discussed during the initial consultation.
Please contact us immediately in order to schedule your initial consultation or with any questions you may have.
Divorce Mediation Benefits
Control - in mediation the parties remain in total control over the outcome. If one goes to court, a total stranger, such as a judge will make life-altering decisions for them. You can discuss all and any of the issues which are important to you. You may not get everything you want, but you will be heard.
Free Will – you are always able to walkaway from the mediation process. In most cases mediation is voluntary.
Privacy – mediation allows you to keep your matters private and confidential. The discussions during mediation are subject to confidentiality. More about this will be addressed during the initial consultation.
Costs – in a litigated case it is beneficial to both attorneys to prolong the cases for as long as possible in order to bill as much as possible. Oftentimes mediation costs as much as 75% less than litigation.
Time – mediated divorce cases usually take as little as 6 months from the beginning to the end. Litigated cases can last years and accomplish less than one would in mediation.
Parenting – if you have kids, you know how important it is to make the right decisions for their future. Mediation allows you to discuss an almost endless number of scenarios to find the most amicably acceptable one.
How long will the mediation take and how much will it cost?
Unfortunately, it is hard to predict with precision how long mediation will take or how much mediation will cost. These issues depend primarily on how agreeable the participants are. Generally, for divorce, business and organizational matters, we meet between two and six times for approximately two to three hours each meeting. The cost of a comprehensive mediated agreement generally ranges between $1,000 and $3,000. I will be as specific as possible in these regards once I have a better understanding of your situation.
Why is mediation so expensive?
Although studies indicate that mediation costs less than the costs associated with resolution through attorney negotiation or litigation, it may be more useful to stress the value of mediation rather than its reduced cost.
The reason to stress the value of mediation is that, in addition to the financial and emotional savings of mediation, participants are able to fashion their own agreement, which is sensitive and responsive to perceived equities and desired outcomes. The result is that the work product of mediation, the Memorandum of Understanding, provides a comprehensive resolution in terms mediating parties understand and believe in. This results in a commitment to the agreement which has been shown to enhance future compliance by providing a cooperative atmosphere for performance of the terms of agreement.
What if we already agree on some things?
Fantastic! The first thing that we want to do in mediation is to identify what you already agree on. We will use those points of agreement as a foundation for your overall agreement. Sometimes, the concepts that make sense to you on certain easy issues can be applied to resolve other issues as well. We will want to be sure that your agreement is well-informed and that you are aware of the many issues that you may want to consider. What is included in your agreement is up to you. Our goal is to support your well-informed decision-making.
What are our chances for success?
Over the years, approximately 95% of mediating parties at Right Triangle Mediation have reached comprehensive resolution. This high success rate is due to most participants being highly motivated to reach agreement.
What if we do not reach an agreement?
In mediation, all discussions and materials, with very few exceptions, are confidential. If no mediated agreement is reached, evidence of the mediation discussions, mediation materials and any draft mediation resolutions will not be admissible in any court or other adversarial proceeding. However, the progress you will make for yourselves is going to be invaluable.
Who pays for mediation?
Responsibility for mediation fees is an issue to be decided by mediation participants. Participants are encouraged to consider sharing fees to some extent so that all will benefit from expeditious and economic resolution.
What about individual attorneys?
In some mediation discussions, attorneys are present and represent the parties. In other mediation discussions, attorneys are not present, but are available as an outside resource for consultation. Participants need to decide how actively involved, if at all, they would like legal counsel to be. As a mediator, I am ethically bound, as a minimum, to advise you to have any mediated settlement agreement reviewed by individual legal counsel prior to your signing that agreement. In practice, I have found that it works best for mediating parties to obtain one to three hours of individual legal advice throughout the mediation process. This legal advice may be best obtained early in the mediation, by legal counsel’s review of a near-final draft agreement, and by counsel’s review of the final agreement. This minimum level of consultation will, I suggest, dramatically elevate your comfort and confidence in the final agreement.
What about utilizing experts?
It may make sense, in a particular case, for mediation participants to retain mutually trusted experts. For example, participants may desire a trusted valuation of real property, personal property or a business. It is also not uncommon for mediating parties to choose to jointly consult with an accountant or tax expert. Mediation participants with parenting concerns may find it beneficial to obtain the thoughts and recommendations of a trusted child psychologist.
What else can I do to prepare?
Perhaps the most important thing any mediating party can do to ensure a satisfying and successful mediation experience is to prepare for the mediation discussions by clarifying your desired outcomes and the concepts of fairness that make sense to you. Stated otherwise, “What do you want?” and “How will you know that it is alright to agree?”
How do I initiate mediation?
Contact our offices and we will do our best to take it from there on a step-by-step bases.