Frequently Asked Questions

 

Do we need to file divorce papers before beginning mediation?
No, the papers can be prepared after you start mediation. If you prefer, we can assist you in the preparation and filing of the court documents.


If I am in a court case that has already started, is it too late to mediate our case?
No. You can agree to mediate your conflict any time before the final orders are entered by the court.


How long does mediation take?
To a great extent, you are in control of how long mediation takes. An initial half-day session is usually scheduled but we can make modifications of that if the parties agree that the session should be shorter or longer.  If we need to keep the initial session moving beyond a half-day, we may continue or set an appointment for another session.  The number of sessions needed to reach an agreement depends on the complexity of the issues and upon your ability to work cooperatively toward a solution.  Typically, most cases require only one half-day session.


How do we resolve more complex issues?
I am trained and experienced in resolving complex and emotionally charged issues. If there are needs for other professionals such as tax accountants or actuaries to be part of the mediation, we have the ability to include those professionals or consult with them during the mediation.  If there are attorneys in a case, they will be able to let me know if we need to be aware of complexities that are outside the norm and which may need advance notice.


What are the risks of mediation?
The risk in trying mediation is limited to the cost and time of your initial session. Choosing a certified mediator is the best way to minimize the risks of an unsuccessful mediation. For a minority of parties who are unable to resolve their conflict in mediation, you still have the option to resort to  litigation after mediation. 


I can see the benefits of having a mediator.  How do I get that started?
If you have an attorney, contact your attorney and let them know that you want to use mediation in your case.  You can even suggest a mediator if you have one in mind.  If you don’t have an attorney, you may call to get the process started.  If you have discussed mediation with the other parties, they may call us or you may ask us to call them.  If you do not want to approach the other party about mediation, we will be happy to do so.   


At what age may children of divorced parents determine with which parent they wish to reside?
I can’t count the number of people who have heard from a friend that there’s a magic age at which children get to decide where they want to live.  That’s simply not the law.  The Court may consider the preferences of a child if the child is of sufficient age and capacity to reason, regardless of age.  Even then, the judge is not required to abide by a child’s wishes.   At around the age of 13, most children will meet the requirement that they have “capacity to reason” even though any parent can probably think of dozens of times when their children don’t exactly use that capacity consistently.  Bottom line:  the courts look at cases individually and make decisions depending upon the facts and what is in the best interest of the child in each case.


My spouse and I have agreed that we want a divorce.  Does that make it an uncontested divorce?
Not necessarily.  A true uncontested divorce is when both parties agree on every aspect of the divorce including division of property, division of marital debt and custody of the children, child support and visitation.  If there are any issues in dispute, you have a contested divorce.  That doesn’t mean it will be a nasty divorce; only that there are things to be decided, by agreement, mediation or court order before all issues are resolved. 


What are the advantages to having a Will?
Executing a Will allows an individual to determine how his property will be divided upon his death. This is the only way a person can know that his or her wishes will be followed after death. If an individual dies without having a will, a probate judge will determine how property and assets will be divided and often the law’s way of dividing property is not what that deceased person would have chosen.  Every parent of a minor child should have a Will or other legal document that specifies your wishes for your child in the event of your death.  Some people find it unsettling or creepy to plan in the event of their death. The good news is that I have yet to see anyone die as a result of thinking ahead and making those arrangements, and often there is a sense of relief that it has been taken care of once it’s done. 


What is a power of attorney?
A: A power of attorney is a legal document which allows an individual who you choose to manage all of your affairs should you become unable to do so.  A power of attorney can be for a limited purpose or duration or may be written very broadly.  The most important thing to do when getting a power of attorney drafted for you is to share with the attorney what you want the person who you want to have power of attorney to be able to do and why.  That way the attorney can make the document do what you intend.

 

DISCLAIMER: These materials have been prepared by Mediated Solutions, LLC for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship. Internet subscribers and online readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.

Studies show that satisfaction ratings with mediation remain high even

1 year later.

Long term satisfaction

is higher for clients who form mediated agreements than for those who reach impasse and litigate.

87




Percentage of participants who felt mediation was a good way to come up with a parenting plan and would recommend mediation to their friends.

70




Percentage of clients who said that mediation helped them to see more ways to work together as parents.

90




Percentage of clients who felt that the mediator had good ideas to consider for their children.

88




Percentage of clients who report that the mediator helped to keep them focused on their children’s interests.

45




Percentage of lawyers surveyed who believed ADR decreased time to disposition.

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In the mediation process, a Certified Mediator helps disputing parties reach a mutually acceptable resolution.

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