How Does Mediation Work?

Simply contact our office to make an appointment for an in-take session.  At this appointment, we’ll explain the process to you, answer your questions and determine if a future mediation session is desired.  A mediation agreement must be signed by both parties.  This agreement explains the ground rules for mediation,  terms of confidentiality, and ensures each party attends mediation voluntarily and participates in good faith.

Can Mediation Be Used Against Me?

When emotions are high it may seem impossible to have a productive conversation about your conflict.  Mediation provides each person the opportunity to “have a say”.  Open honest discussion is the first and most critical step in resolving your issues.  That being said, each party can control what information is shared with the other side.  Throughout the mediation, parties will have the opportunity to meet with the mediator individually.  During these discussions your mediator will learn what information is appropriate to discuss with the other party.

What Happens If We Don’t Reach An Agreement?

Ideally, mediation allows parties to identify issues, explore options, resolve any conflicts and come to an agreement.  Once an agreement is reached, the mediator will draft a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) encompassing the terms of the agreement.  The signed MOU will be the basis for the document to be filed in court.

For some parties, an agreement can be reached on some but not all of the issues.  In other instances, parties are simply able to clarify the issues and prioritize their desires.  A "successful" mediation does not require an agreement.

If mediation does not produce a signed MOU; the discussions in mediation are generally not allowed in court.  This promotes open and honest discussions during the mediation without fear of retribution in Court.

How Much Does Mediation Cost?

Fees for mediation are charged on an hourly basis, generally $150 per couple per hour or $75 per person per hour.  Unlike attorneys, mediation requires no retainer fees.  Parties wishing to mediate will be charged one hour ($75 each)  for the in-take session and review of pertinent documents.  Other than the hour long in-take session, mediation sessions are scheduled for a minimum of two hours, unless previous arrangements have been made.   If the mediation continues past the previously designated allotted time, additional time will be charged in 30 minute increments.  Depending on the complexity of the issues, most cases settle within three sessions. 

Certain situations make co-mediation an advisable option.  Co-mediation allows mediators, often times of different genders and varying professional backgrounds, to assist parties resolve their conflict.  If parties agree to participate in co-mediation, the hourly fee is $200.