What is Divorce Mediation?
As a mediator I help both sides reach a voluntary settlement. I do that by facilitating your conversation about the issues that need to be decided. I help you gather and organize the necessary information, help you illicit and express your interests, encourage brainstorming of options to meet your interests and analyze the benefits and detriments of the various options. We do this in a series of meetings until settlement is reached.
Depending on the issues of your case and the complexity of your case, other professionals such as financial planners, coaches, child experts, and attorneys will be brought into the mediation process to help educate you and assist you in reaching an amicable agreement.
Key Qualities of the Mediation Process
Voluntary - You can leave at any time for any reason, or no reason.
Collaborative - You are encouraged to work together to reach what you perceive to be your best agreement.
Controlled - You have complete decision-making power and a veto over each and every provision of any mediated agreement. Nothing can be imposed on you.
Confidential - Mediation is confidential, to the extent you desire and agree, with only limited exceptions. Mediation discussions and all materials developed for a mediation are not admissible in court or other contested proceeding, except for a finalized and signed mediated agreement. Confidentiality in mediation may be waived in writing, although the mediator may retain his or her own ability to refuse to testify in any contested case. Your mediator is obligated to describe any exceptions to this general confidentiality of mediation.
Informed - The mediation process offers a full opportunity to obtain and incorporate legal and other professional information and advice. Mutually acceptable professionals can be retained. Professional advice is never determinative in mediation. The parties always retain decision-making power. Mediators are bound to encourage parties to obtain legal counsel and to advise them to have any mediated agreement involving legal issues reviewed by independent legal counsel prior to signing. Whether legal advice is sought is, ultimately, a decision of each mediation participant.
Impartial, Neutral, Balanced and Safe - The mediator has an equal and balanced responsibility to assist each mediating party and cannot favor the interests of any one party over another, nor should the mediator favor a particular result in the mediation. Your mediator is ethically obligated to acknowledge any substantive bias on substantive issues in discussion. The mediator's role is to ensure that parties reach agreements in a voluntarily and informed manner, and not as a result of coercion or intimidation.