Mediation provides a divorcing, pre- or post-marital couple, people with elder, probate, or family owned business conflicts a method of MUTUALLY and efficiently resolving issues of parenting, property, support and planning in a private, safe, and positive environment. With the help of a skilled mediator, mediation clients reach an agreement COOPERATIVELY rather than in a competitive struggle. Unlike the adversarial process, neither person can win at the other's expense. Resolutions that emerge from the mediation are created and accepted by BOTH (sometimes all) parties - resolutions that reflect individual values and unique needs. A person may elect to use an attorney as a consultant in conjunction with the mediation at any time. Upon mutual agreement, attorneys may also be present during the mediation.
NOTE:Practical experience - not to mention common sense- has shown that settlements created with full participation of the parties, in face to face negotiations, are more likely to satisfy the needs of both (or all) parties and to be honored in the future.
During the first mediation session, the mediator will assess each party's commitment to a fair and honest process, help define personal goals, and begin to identify any areas of agreement and disagreement. In following sessions, the mediator will assist in systematically working through each area of concern. Additionally, the mediator will manage the conflict, orchestrate the infomation gathering, offer information, help exploration of various options and consequences and help facilitate communications.
Sessions will usually be scheduled at regular intervals and generally be about two hours long. The total number of sessions required depends upon the couple's ability to cooperate and the complexity of the situation. Mediation, however, is intended to be a short-term process.
After completing the mediation and upon the request of the parties, the court documents can be prepared by our office. In that case, we recommend that each party selects a mediation friendly attorney to review the substantive final documents to assure that each person's interests are protected. If we are not preparing the court documents, the parties may choose to have us draft a Memorandum of Understanding outlining all of the decisions made by the parties. This is a detailed document an attorney would use as a guide from which to draft the legal documents.
If needed or wanted, our decades long relationships with mediation friendly attorneys, financial experts, and mental health professionals extends informed service to our mediation clients.
The Family Mediation Center offers a 30" courtesy session to help acquaint interested couples with mediation. All mediation services thereafter are based on hourly rates. Cost for drafting documents, if wanted, varies according to each situation. Although each mediation is unique and tailored as such, a typical divorce mediation involves discussions about parenting (if there are minor children), property, spousal maintenance (alimony) and child support. The duration of family owned business, probate, and elder mediations are directly related to their unique circumstances.
Co-mediation is available upon request. This involves the use of a team of two mediators. Although more expensive, co-mediation may be particularly helpful in complex family, extended family, business, probate, and/or interpersonal issues.
Collaboration services are also avaialable. As a trained colalborative conflict resolver, Joy can work with each party's expert team which can incude attorneys, financial experts, and mental health professionals.
The Family Mediation Center includes arbitration services. Parties can either choose arbitration instead of mediation or use arbitration to resolve issues they may not have been able to resolve in mediation. This provides parties with another cost-effective and efficient alternative to the traditional legal process. Parties may choose an arbitrator from our panel of expert family law attorneys, accountants, appraisers, and psychologists or mutually choose their arbitrator.