At Arkoosh Law Offices, we will help you gain control of the process of creating your “post-divorce” lifestyle. After all, it is your life, shouldn’t you have a say in these important matters? At Arkoosh Law Offices, you and your spouse or ex-spouse will each have an opportunity to be heard, and will work one-on-one with a trained mediator, who will help you create a self-tailored Mediated Settlement Agreement.
There is not just one way to handle a divorce or child custody modification. Sometimes people think that the only way to get divorced is to hire an attorney and get in front of a judge. But that is only one option. Other options include filling out and filing paperwork yourself, without the help of an attorney, or hiring a mediator to help you reach an agreement and prepare you for an uncontested divorce or custody modification.
Mediators can become involved “pre-suit” or “post-suit.” Pre-suit mediation involves hiring a mediator before attorneys are retained or any documents are filed. Doing this allows couples to save time and money, as well as avoiding the negative adversarial nature of an attorney-driven disputes, but still reap the benefits of having a knowledgeable professional help with the process.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a flexible and confidential dispute resolution process. It gives you and your spouse or ex-spouse a way to settle the conflict between you in a way that helps you to work together as parents. This is extremely important if you have children and must interact with your ex-spouse after you are divorced. Mediation has the ability to help you and your spouse or ex-spouse learn to communicate again, if only for the sake of the children, and make your post-divorce relationship better.
It is important to remember that a mediator is a neutral and does not “work” for either of you. This means that the mediator cannot give either you or your spouse or ex-spouse advice, legal or otherwise. They must remain neutral no matter what the situation. What the mediator will do is help you formulate ideas that can eventually lead to agreement that will stand the test of time.
Mediation is a voluntary action. It continues only for as long as all three of you (you, your spouse or ex-spouse, and the mediator) want. Mediations can be conducted weekly, every two weeks, monthly or however often you want. It is your mediation and you decide everything in the process.
A typical pre-suit mediation can take anywhere from a single session up to multiple sessions of mediation depending on the complexity of the issues and the personalities involved. Some divorces can be mediated in a single session, while others need to be spread out over several sessions. At the end of a successful mediation process, you will have a customized Mediated Settlement Agreement that will be entered with the court. Depending on the type of dispute, this agreement will address future parenting schedules (child custody modifications) and/or how finances (assets and debts) will be handled during and after the divorce.
Mediation permits you to avoid a situation where each party uses their own legal advisor to "fight their cause." You are in total control of the outcome.
Mediation is for parents who wish to co-parent their children, despite their separation, and minimize the negative impact of divorce on their children.
In mediation, you are both working together towards a mutual goal and will achieve your objectives through a less stressful process.
In an era when it may take as long as a year to get a court date, mediation is generally both less expensive and quicker than going to court.
People that mediate are generally more satisfied with solutions that have been mutually agreed upon, as opposed to solutions that are imposed by a third-party decision-maker. Mediated agreements also have a higher rate of compliance. People who have negotiated their own agreement in mediation are generally more likely to follow through and comply with its terms than those whose resolution has been imposed by a third-party decision-maker.
Cost of Mediation
Mediation sessions are typically scheduled for two-hour sessions. The cost of mediation is $150/hour and each party is responsible for half unless alternate arrangements are made. Payment is due at the beginning of each session.