THE MEDIATION PROCESS
How long will the mediation take and what is the cost?
My initial consultation (1/2 hour free) provides an overview of the issues, the likely resolution and range of likely time involved. If the parties are agreeable /amenable, mediation can be quick, but if they are contentious it will take longer. The fee rate will be quoted at between $175 to $250/hour, depending on the complexity of the issues.
What is involved in the Mediation Process?
The first short meeting, at no charge, explores whether mediation is appropriate.
This meeting is followed by a series of meetings of about an hour each where the parties in dispute resolve their differences with my assistance as a neutral mediator /independent negotiator. As mediator I will help them achieve an acceptable compromise.
What does the Settlement Agreement include?
I ensure that you are well-informed about the issues. Your decision about those issues influences what is included in the Settlement Agreement.
What if the parties already agree on many issues?
I determine the points of agreement that will be the foundation of your overall Settlement Agreement. I highlight the standards that are acceptable and may be applicable to resolve more difficult issues.
What are the chances of success?
Parties using the mediation process have a high success rate in reaching agreement. The parties are motivated by the mediation opportunity to reach agreement and avoid court imposed resolutions and to avoid costly, emotionally charged litigation, so even a partial resolution as opposed to a full resolution can be a success.
What if no Settlement Agreement is reached?
The mediation discussions, materials and draft resolution are not admissible in court or other similar proceedings.
The parties might choose to jointly retain an impartial attorney to give a non-binding opinion on how a court might resolve the identified issues and facts agreed upon.
Who pays for mediation?
The parties are encouraged to consider sharing fees so both can benefit from a quick resolution.
Are attorneys needed?
Each party should have his/her own attorney review any mediated settlement agreement prior to signing the final Agreement.
Should tax, accounting, business, real estate experts be used?
Tax, accounting, business, or real estate appraisal experts can be hired by each party or jointly by both, to provide a valuation of real property, personal property or a business, or provide tax or accounting advice. Where children are involved, the parties might consider the recommendations of a trusted child psychologist.