The cost of mediation often depends upon the specific type of mediation. Mediation costs are usually based on an hourly rate or flat fee, depending upon the contract between the parties and the mediator. Divorce Mediation varies in their fees; however, the average price is $200.00 per hour. Usually, each side splits the cost and pays $100.00 per hour. Usually, if we mediate your entire divorce without too many problems we can finish mediation between six and eight hours. Once the mediation is finished, we write a Settlement Offer for the courts. There usually is no testifying of witnesses, no depositions, nothing between you and the judge that will get in the way. When you leave our office two things will happen. One, your agreement is given to your attorney to review or two, a settlement offer is signed by all parties and the document is returned by one of the parties to court.
If you go to court first, you will still most likely have to mediate. This time it will be court-ordered mediation. The court may waive the cost of court-ordered mediation, or the court may order either party to pay the entire cost of mediation or order both parties to share the cost. The parties will also bear the cost of representation by their attorneys. In voluntary mediation, the parties are responsible for mediation expenses themselves. The Bar Association states; "although there is a cost for mediation, it is possible that the over all cost of the separation or divorce will be less expensive if pursued through mediation than through litigation".
What Kinds of Issues May be Addressed through Mediation?
Each family is unique; however, we all have basic needs. Mediation addresses those basic needs and then works on each family's needs and in some cases wants. A parenting plan is vital to a successful separation and divorce. If temporary support/visitation is needed, that is where you begin. From there you change gears, looking at custody, visitation, and child support including health insurance. Every issue discussed is up to you. This is your process. Perhaps working with your CPA or investment counselor, you may create in mediation a plan to resolve issues regarding the distribution of assets/liabilities. In today's economy, it is essential to protect what you have worked for. Retirement plans and the division of wealth including investments might be a concern that you will want to resolve. Each family is different. Each family will come into this process with expectations and concerns. Each family member will have their own needs and future goals. Through mediation, we rectify situations and come up with viable solutions. Go back to our homepage and look at the pictures and the captions of some of the areas we work on. It took you years to build your life, reworking your life with a pencil, calculator and paper is a process, sometimes a painful process, and therefore this is a time for patience. Sometimes that in itself is very hard to achieve. A right mediation takes time. This is your future and in some cases your children's future. Therefore it is a time to be prepared. It is essential to focus not only on the big stuff but the little things that don't necessarily stick out. We find these smaller issues are just as important and need to be handled efficiently. Good detail planning now can save you time and money later on. Once your problems are addressed and resolved, there is nothing worst than finding out that one of you did not have a meeting of the minds. Emotionally and financially there is nothing worse for both of you to have to once again return to court. Spend the time now to do it right the first time. We are here to assist you to work through some of the difficult decisions that are necessary for a divorce. We genuinely believe there is such a thing as a "Healthy Divorce".
What Happens After an Agreement Is Reached?
With voluntary mediation, Divorce Mediation will prepare a written agreement for the parties to sign. If you have an attorney before a private mediation agreement is signed, each side may review it with his or her attorney. If corrections or changes are needed, and both parties agree, then the modifications may be made. This agreement may take effect immediately and govern the sides until they decide to divorce. At that time, the arrangement may be incorporated into the divorce decree.
Why mediation is your first choice for resolving issues.
If your mediation does not resolve your differences two things will happen. In court-ordered mediation, the case will return to the court for a decision by the master or judge if the two parties cannot agree. The mediator is forbidden to reveal to the judge anything that the sides discussed during mediation and may not be called as a witness. If voluntary mediation does not succeed, the parties always have the option of hiring attorneys and resolving their differences in court. The good news is that: 97% of divorces and parental agreements are settled by mediation. Try mediation, it most likely will work with your family's issues. Bar Association states, "When mediation is not an option, we find that most high-conflict divorces go on for years. Prolonged divorces deplete assets, entail expensive professional services, interrupt business, and interfere with opportunities for personal growth as well as the desire to get on with life". This advice goes hand-in-hand with non-mediation practices. The Bar Association goes on to said, "Divorce mediation, by contrast, helps achieve closure". Divorce Mediation agrees with the Bar Association. Mediation does bring closure in a private, peaceful, and dignified manner.