Mediation is a method for resolving all types of issues without going to court. Decisions are made by you and your spouse or partner together with the help of a trained mediator. Three of our attorneys are trained family and divorce mediators (Joni Berner, Margaret Klaw and Megan Watson). Depending on the number and complexity of issues to be resolved, it may take as few as one or as many as a dozen mediation sessions to reach a comprehensive agreement; however, in our collective experience, most of our mediation clients come to resolution in a handful of sessions.
While you control the pace of the process, an important role of the mediator is to keep the parties on task for accomplishing their goal of reaching agreements and to assist them in assessing the practicality and fairness of their proposed resolutions. If you are successful in reaching an agreement through mediation, we can either prepare the formal contract memorializing the specific terms of that agreement – with the expectation that both parties will consult independent attorneys before signing it – or we can prepare a Memorandum of Understanding summarizing the agreed-upon terms, and one of the parties’ independent attorneys will draft the formal agreement.
Under either scenario, if you elect to mediate, each party should still receive advice and guidance from an independent attorney experienced in family law. Although we are lawyers, when we serve as mediators, we do not represent either party and provide only neutral legal information, not advice to either party.