Mediation is another way to successfully resolve the issues of your divorce. A traditional divorce averages between $15,000 and $30,000 and can take longer than 18 months. Choosing to mediate to resolve issues can save a couple thousands of dollars, preserve long-lasting family relationships between divorcing families and protect the children from the adversarial consequences of a litigated divorce.
A skilled mediator can help turn conflict into conversation.
What is DIVORCE MEDIATION? Divorce mediation is an active, non adversarial process in where a neutral mediator helps couples privately identify and resolve divorce issues that ordinarily would be resolved in Court. A mediator can help couples determine child custody, visitation and support and even the division of marital property.Divorce Mediation is conducted so that there are no “losers.” It helps you both find a “win/win” solution to divorce-related issues. Couples continue to share many mutual interests after divorce, especially if they have children. Mediation gives the couple, not the Court, the control to find solutions that they both can live with.
Does my attorney have to be present? Although most mediators are attorneys, a mediator does not act as an attorney for either party and cannot force either party to agree to anything during the mediation. For this reason, we recommend that both parties obtain their own lawyers and independent review of the agreements after the mediation. Mediation works best in a non-adversarial setting with the couple themselves having control over the process, not their attorneys. However, if you feel more comfortable having your attorney attend the mediation with you, they certainly are welcome to attend.
How much does Mediation Cost?
Kim Sanders Vanderbrook has been a qualified mediator and family law attorney since 1998. Because she believes so strongly in mediation’s power to lessen the negative effects of divorce, she charges a rate of $150 per hour for mediation, one-half of her hourly rate as an attorney. The mediator’s fee is to be split between the two parties unless otherwise agreed. In Court ordered mediations, clients meet for three, 2-hour sessions. In most cases, this is enough time to resolve the majority of the issues that a couple may want to resolve. This means that for less than $500 each, couples have an opportunity to privately and confidentially resolve the issues of their divorce. This is significantly less than any type of litigation driven resolution. For low income clients, a sliding fee scale is available with verified proof of income.
- It is mutual. You both must agree on solutions, or there is no agreement. A mediator will never force a party into an agreement that they do not agree is fair.
- It helps clarify areas of conflict & agreement. Most couples have some conflict, and some agreement. The mediator helps you limit the conflict and discuss the issues that matter to you productively.
- It gives you power. You control your own decision over your own lives.
- It is best for your children. All of the discussions are tempered by the fact that you are both parents of your children and you will have a continuing relationship as parents after you have ended the spouse relationship.
- It is cost-effective. Mediation costs are much less than costs associated with the traditional litigation process.
- It is confidential. Mediation sessions are held in a private office setting and are entirely confidential. What’s said in mediation can never be used as evidence against you in Court, nor can the mediator ever be called to testify about the mediation.
- It works. Most mediations are successful on most, if not all, issues presented. 9 out of 10 couples who have worked in a mediation with Kim Vanderbrook have resolved their issues. Furthermore, couples are more likely to abide by the agreements they make in mediation than the Orders of the Court.