Divorce Mediation: "The Good Divorce"
The Mediation Process
By choosing the divorce mediation process and looking for “the good divorce,” you are taking control of both the tenor and the decisions that comprise your divorce. As a neutral mediator, it is my job to guide you through parenting and financial decisions, all the while honoring your autonomy to make your own best choices for yourselves and for your child(ren.) I strive to understand both of you and help you understand the other’s perspective — around each issue. While challenging, this level of communication is the very foundation for compromise, decision-making and, ultimately, a comprehensive agreement.
For divorcing parents, mediation is a chance to reflect, discuss and then design schedules as well as parenting roles and responsibilities. This includes addressing your child(ren)’s needs as they grow and develop and considering how you each can optimize a co-parenting relationship. In an effort to make the agreement as durable as possible, I discuss with you ways in which parenting time and responsibilities may change, both as your children mature and as your adult lives move forward.
Additionally, as I help you to bring understanding to this aspect of the negotiations, a common by-product is preserving a measure of your relationship, or beginning a new manner of communication as cooperative parents. Many couples who mediate their divorce report an improved ability to parent together for the benefit of their child(ren), thereby avoiding the all too common dynamic of placing child(ren) in the middle of adult conflict.
Financially, divorcing couples face a myriad of decisions, from how to identify, value and distribute marital assets to how to provide financially for all members of the family.
In mediation, I work with you toward effective budget and asset analysis. Thus, while tensions are high and expenses are increasing, you make progress toward concrete and realistic solutions in a supportive setting. This includes examining spending priorities, needs, and obligations; assessing investments and savings goals and career options; exploring ways to address liabilities such as credit card debt and student loans, to name a few. Each family is unique. I take you through the issues one by one, helping you gather and understand all of the relevant information needed to make lasting, informed decisions.
Nuts and Bolts About The Process
Many clients choose mediation, not only because of the autonomy and thoughtfulness it provides, but also because it is much faster and less costly than litigation. A comprehensive divorce mediation typically takes 6-10 sessions, of two hours each. Most important, unlike the court process, which can take years, mediation is fully voluntary and I work at your pace to help you come to solutions you think are best, both for your child(ren) and for your financial security.
As part of my unique approach, I do not take a retainer for mediation services. Rather, payment is due at the conclusion of each session. In fact, I am so committed to ensuring that this is the right process for you that I offer a no-fee one-hour consultation to prospective mediation clients. At our first meeting all together, I take the time to answer your questions and to discuss the details of how the process works. Topics covered include: duration and frequency of sessions; how financial information is gathered and analyzed, ensuring that you arrive at an informed settlement; how you make decisions in mediation; the role of the law and of mediation-friendly lawyers; the technical details of obtaining a final judgment of divorce. Should you wish to start mediating, we can begin immediately after the consultation, but there is no obligation to get started. I welcome you to come in for a no-risk, no-fee consultation and learn more about the process and decide whether it is a good fit for both of you.