The Process - What to Expect in Mediation

Mediation sessions generally run about 2 hours per session, and on average, couples require 5 to 10 sessions. The duration of the mediation is dependent on several variables:

  • How many issues the couple has resolved on their own

  • The complexity of the issues

  • The willingness to negotiate

 

In our initial mediation session, we have a detailed review of the process, assess together if mediation is right for both of you, and sign an agreement to mediate. (This agreement protects the confidentiality of the mediation and summarizes the process, guidelines and expectations). 

 

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The next step is to gather information about your relationship, gain a general overview of your assets, create a list of the issues in dispute and make you aware of additional topics that need to be addressed. We will also review any emergency issues that need to be resolved promptly. One by one, we will work with you and your partner on each topic to identify and understand your needs, interests, and goals. 

Some of the common topics we cover in mediation are:

*This is not an all-inclusive list

 

You and your partner, with the guidance of your mediator, will collaborate to create options, develop potential solutions for each issue, evaluate the viability of each scenario and determine which are most agreeable for both of you.

*During mediation, other professional services are sometimes needed to address more complex issues such as accountants, lawyers, financial planners, appraisers, evaluators, and child psychologists.  These professionals are experts in their field and understand the mediation process.  They are neutral and advise the couple collectively on best practices.
 

The final step in the mediation process is the formulation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU outlines the agreed-upon details as they were resolved during the course of mediation. After receiving the MOU, each party reviews the document to assure its accuracy and then brings their copy of the MOU to a review attorney to evaluate, ensure it is sound and provide legal advice. Once all the details have been flushed out, the couple selects one of the attorneys to draft and file the final divorce papers.

 

Note: Hiring a review attorney is a necessary layer of protection for you and your partner.  It will ensure that you and your partner not only understand your rights but are also provided with legal advice to fully understand the consequences of your decisions.

 

Even with using a review/drafting attorney, mediation is significantly less expensive and less time-consuming than a litigated divorce. You both walk away more satisfied with the outcome. We can provide you and your partner with a list of mediator-friendly attorneys.