What is Divorce Mediation?
When a married couple decides to divorce, there are several options available. Divorce mediation involves a trained mediator who meets with both spouses together and facilitates a civil and structured decision-making meeting, covering approximately 20-25 particulate topics. The mediator may communicate with the couple's lawyers, and may also communicate with a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst or Certified Public Accountant to help assist with more complex financial issues. During this process, spouses work toegeher while the mediator remains neutral and ensures that there is an open exchange of information.
Who are our Divorce Mediators?
Sarah Kindig and Carrie Walker are both licensed mental health professionals who have been professionally trained as Divorce Mediators. While they do not act as therapists in their divorce mediator roles, both Sarah and Carrie come to divorce mediation with many years of expertise in supporting individuals and couples in: achieving conflict resolution, effectively communicating difficult emotions, and understanding child development. They both believe that their role is to trust and respect the adults before them who have made a conscious decision to divorce and to support them in achieving this goal in the most cost-effective, supportive, and non-adversarial manner possible. Sarah and Carrie have years of experience in collaborating with and forging professional relationships with excellent local attorneys and financial professionals. If you do not have the resources you need, they will point you in the right direction.
Benefits of Divorce Mediation
The benefits of mediation vs. litigation are numerous and include (but are not limited to) the following:
- places the needs of children first
- promotes a win-win situation for both spouses
- encourages respect
- ensures that the concerns of each spouse are heard and validated
- focuses on the future vs. the past
- tends to cost considerably less than a litigated (court) divorce
- makes financial information available to both spouses
- can often resolve issues in a single session
- respects the couple as the "experts" on their lives rather than having decisions made for them by professionals
- provides a more flexible schedule (sessions are scheduled by the couple rather than following a court schedule)
- sessions are non-adversarial
Divorce Mediation Process:
- You may consult a mediator before hiring a lawyer, or your lawyer(s) may refer you to a mediator
- Your lawyer will review the Memorandum of Understanding (divorce agreement) after it is drafted
- Sessions typically occur over the course of two 3-hour sessions
- The mediator covers approximately 20-25 specific legal issues, asking questions and facilitating healthy discussion around each
- After the sessions, the mediator drafts a Memorandum of Understanding and revises the agreement you have reached, based on your joint decisions
Mediation sessions are $250 per hour and are typically scheduled in 3 hour blocks. The cost of preparing the final Memorandum of Understanding, which is provided to your attorney(s), is $400. This includes time spent consulting with collateral contacts. Any fees associated with your attorney(s), CDFA, CPA or other professionals are your responsibility based on any agreements you have with said professionals. Payments are due at the time of your sessions.