Mediation FAQ

What is mediation?

Mediation is a process where an impartial third person known as a mediator assists parties in reaching a mutual agreement about co-parenting issues (custody and visitation). The mediator does not take sides, is not the judge and does not make decisions about what is best for your child(ren). Instead, the mediator helps each person listen to the other’s perspective, communicate about your interests and needs, focus on the needs of your child(ren) and reach a mutually agreeable plan for co-parenting.

 

Why do courts order mediation?

A mutual agreement between parents is most often preferable to a court-imposed plan. Parents who work together and act responsibly, minimize costs in time and money, and reduce the stress on everyone involved including, most importantly, the child. Mediation is your opportunity to turn a negative experience into a positive plan for the long-term health of your family.

 

What does it cost?

The cost of mediation will vary from mediator to mediator. However, when looking at that cost it is important for each party to compare the cost of 2-6 hours of mediation with the often devastating costs both financial and emotional of continued legal proceedings.

 

Where does my attorney fit in?

Your attorney can help prepare you for a positive mediation experience. Typically, attorneys are not present during custody mediation sessions unless the mediator requests that they be there. However, you are encouraged to have your attorney review any agreement you reach, prior to signing. Your attorney will file all paperwork for you following mediation.

 

Where does my attorney fit in?

Your attorney can help prepare you for a positive mediation experience. Typically, attorneys are not present during custody mediation sessions unless the mediator requests that they be there. However, you are encouraged to have your attorney review any agreement you reach, prior to signing. Your attorney will file all paperwork for you following mediation.

 

What if I am uncomfortable being in the presence of the other party?

In most cases, the mediator will meet with both parties together at the same time. On occasion the mediator may choose to caucus (separate the parties and meet with them individually in separate rooms) the parties so as to aid the fluidity and efficiency of the mediation. This may occur in high conflict or other cases that may require special attention.

 

What does it take to successfully reach an agreement?

Hard work, patience, and an open mind will help lead to successfully reaching an agreement. Often, situations that seem hopeless are resolved in mediation. A commitment of your time and effort are needed to reach that goal.

 

Prepare for the appointment!

Mediation can be a long process but it holds many benefits for you and your children. When ordered to go to mediation it is important to prepare for the appointment.  Brainstorm and think about a possible Parenting Plan that will work for you and the other parent and most importantly, a plan that will work for your child(ren).