Mediation is a process of discussion and negotiation, a problem solving method where an impartial third party assists you in reaching an agreement between you and your spouse that would be the fairest to both of you.
Mediation works successfully for families who are in a processed of divorce as well as families that are faced with some challenges that need to be resolved. Those families don’t usually need to engage in hours of psychotherapy, but rather have one to two productive session to reach a workable solution. You and your spouse will meet with our mediator and through asking you questions, will bring out all of the issues that need to be decided, and will lead you to resolutions that are equitable and mutually acceptable. Your mediator will serve as an impartial arbiter to help you find the most suitable compromise resolutions to your dilemmas.
Many cooperative couples more often choose this alternative while going through their divorce. Families with high conflict need mediation even more to avoid the high costs of litigation and the deepening conflicts that result from the adversity inherent in court litigated “divorce solutions”.
Regular mediation process includes an orientation session which gives the opportunity to get to know each of the parties involved. Most of the first mediation meeting is usually dedicated to listening to a couple’s mutual and divergent perspectives, gathering information, answering questions and presenting an agenda for our following meetings.
The most important goal for the first mediation meeting is to create an atmosphere where both parties will feel comfortable with the whole process and secure in the non-threatening and cooperative nature of the meetings. During the course of the mediation process the divorcing couple will need to make many serious decisions about their assets and liabilities, parenting and child support, spousal support (if necessary) and the couple’s living arrangements. We will focus on the future and make arrangements that take all family members into consideration.
At the end of the mediation process, your mediator will prepare a Memorandum of Understanding, a detailed document outlining your divorce arrangements that will be used by one of your attorneys to create your Property Settlement Agreement, or can be filed to court by one of the parties should you decide to forgo the attorneys’ review.
We strongly believe that, the direct participation of the divorcing couples in creating their own voluntary agreement, results in a document that is much more likely to be upheld and honored by both parties (as opposite to a legal decisions handed down to them by the courts).
In the mediation process, the main goal of the mediator is to facilitate communication, promote understanding, and assist the parties in reaching fully informed solutions that will work for all involved.
Though we have to consider the legal statutes and case law, the mediation process still affords much latitude for you to work out an agreement that is suitable for the entire family. Your most important goal during mediation is to prepare yourself mentally and recognize that a divorce settlement will be reached only if and when both parties’ major goals are met. You will also need to keep in mind that divorce mediation is a negotiation process where both sides will need to work very hard in balancing an agreement and recognize that neither of you will get your “wish list”, and both of you will need to give up on some points in order to gain on the others.
An important point to stress once again, is that mediation process really works: statistics indicate that over 89% of all divorce mediations result in settlement. This is true even where all prior attempts at settlement have failed, where the parties were pessimistic about the prospects of settlement, and where the parties have spent substantial amounts of time and money preparing for trial. With such a success rate, it is wise and relatively inexpensive to try mediation. You have little to lose and a lot to gain!