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, Frequently Asked Questions as well as my mediation and fee agreements. If you would like, I am happy to contact your spouse about mediation and encourage them to consider mediating. If you are ready to schedule when you call, we will schedule an appointment for your private orientation meeting. 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 you’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 this sharing and the ongoing 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.
Step Four: Document Preparation and Signing
Documents are drafted and revised throughout the mediation process. Once you have completed the topics for each of your agreements I will send each agreement out to you via email. Agreements are confidential until signed and we do not sign agreements until they are all completed. Agreements are never signed in session. I want you to have time to think about what you have agreed to and to have them reviewed by an attorney if you wish.
Step Five: Ongoing Support
While your marriage is ending, 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.