What is Mediation?
Mediation is an opportunity for the parties, with the help of a neutral mediator, to negotiate a mutually-satisfactory Agreement concerning the issues relevant to a separation or divorce. These issues will include the division of property and debt, parenting arrangements, child and/or spousal support, etc.
The mediator makes no decisions for you, but rather assists you to reach common ground on each issue. The actual content of the agreement is decided by the parties. The goal is an agreement that is fair and acceptable to everyone, and is in the best interests of any minor children.
How does Mediation work?
In mediation — rather than working against one another as adversaries, as so often happens in a divorce — the couple works together toward a common goal. Through the mediation process, each of them gains clarity about what is important to them, what their priorities are, what their concerns are, and what their options are. They also gain clarity about all those questions from the other person’s perspective as well. They each come to understand what will make an agreement work for themselves, and what will make it work for the other person; it takes two to make an agreement. With that information and understanding, and with the help of a skilled mediator, couples are able to find creative ways to integrate the concerns of both of them, and to achieve an agreement that will work for both.
In my practice, I strongly encourage that each party then take any agreement they have reached in mediation to an attorney for at least a one-time consultation prior to signing, so that they have the benefit of advice from someone who represents only that party’s interests. Clients may also consult with their attorneys throughout the process, if they wish. I find that attorneys are very supportive of the process, and recognize its value with clients who are comfortable with their agreements.
Contact my office for costs and availability for mediation.