How Divorce Mediation Works: 5 Steps
Step One: Your Call
When you contact my office I answer any questions you may have about the mediation process and send you a packet of information that includes a description of my process, information about who I am, and a list of frequently asked questions. When you are ready, we will schedule an appointment for your private orientation meeting. If you would like, I am happy to contact your spouse about mediation and answer any questions that they may have. Otherwise, your spouse may contact me directly to schedule their private orientation meeting.
Step Two: Individual Orientation Meetings
I will meet with each of you individually prior to your first joint session. This 45 minute meeting is designed to give you an opportunity to get comfortable in the space we’ll be mediating in, become familiar with the process and provide basic information about your situation. These meetings are confidential, what is discussed will not be shared with your spouse.
We will also:
- Review the mediation and fee agreements
- Discuss the mediation process and roles
- Identify resources you may need for your upcoming sessions
- Answer any questions you may have
Step Three: Joint Sessions
Joint sessions are scheduled for two hours. I will open the session with an opportunity for each of you to share your thoughts and goals for the session and any information that you feel might be new information for your spouse. I will facilitate the discussion in a way that creates a safe environment in which you can work toward the agreements you will need to complete your divorce filing. Mediation is not counseling, discussions stay focused on the future and creating healthy successful plans for both you and your children’s lives. Agreements typically include a parenting plan, child support agreement, and settlement agreement, including spousal maintenance if applicable, for those with minor children and a settlement agreement, including spousal maintenance if applicable, for those without minor children.
Step Four: Document Preparation and Signing
Once we have completed your discussion, I will draft your agreements in a format which can be attached directly to your court documents. I will send those out to each of you for review and any necessary corrections. Upon completion of the documents you have the option to have them reviewed by an attorney. Once you determine that you are ready to sign the documents you will each make appointments to come in to sign. You may sign together or separately.
Step Five: Ongoing Support
While your marriage is ending, if you have children, you will be forever linked as parents. As your children grow and your lives change your parenting agreements will need to change as well. If you find that you get stuck, whether it’s something major, like a move, or relatively minor, like pickup times for Christmas vacation, I continue to be a resource to help you work through issues and prevent them becoming a full scale conflict. Just knowing that you have a resource if you get stuck can help things run more smoothly
Teens and Parents
We offer mediation with Teens and Parents to help you successfully navigate the teen years. Our teen mediation model includes an adult and a teen mediator, to make teens more comfortable and communicative in the mediation process. Our goal in mediation is to get your communication unstuck and create a Family Pact which will create a road-map for a more successful teen/parent relationship. We also offer family communication training, to help you and your teens learn new communication skills to deepen your relationship.
Whether your are making difficult care and end of life decisions for an aging parent or struggling to get along with your in-laws, we can help your family have a productive conversation and create a plan so that things can look different in the future.