What types of people choose mediation?
Many people choose mediation because they are looking for a peaceful way to address a difficult situation. Mediation is designed to help you find common ground and creative solutions. This can be particularly helpful and important when:
- You know you want to reach a resolution, but you aren’t sure where to begin
- You want to avoid a nasty court battle
- You want to focus on your children’s best interests and minimize conflict while also finding fair solutions
- You want to preserve civil and respectful relationships with each other, and/or with each other’s extended family and friends
- You have a good idea of what agreement will work for you, but you need help figuring out the details
- You prefer a private, confidential process to a public divorce hearing or other court proceeding that becomes public record
- You have a conflict you haven’t discussed yet and want to begin the conversation thoughtfully, to avoid ending up mired in hurt feelings or litigation
- You are eager to find a resolution and focus on the future
How can I make sure the other person won’t take advantage of me?
It’s common to worry about whether mediation is as “safe” as going to court. Choosing mediation does not mean you give up your right to independent legal advice – in fact, both parties are strongly encouraged to consult with other experts before, during, and after the mediation process.This includes consulting your own lawyer, accountant, financial adviser, and/or therapist. You’ll also be strongly encouraged to obtain independent legal review before signing any agreement.
My spouse or family member never listens and talks over me. Can you mediate with someone like that?
When a relationship is in conflict, it’s almost always hard to communicate. It can also be intimidating to talk directly about sensitive issues. Mediation provides structure and a neutral “referee.” This can help people start to hear each other again. If it turns out mediation isn’t productive, the mediator can help you figure out an alternate option.Although mediation typically works best when both parties are communicating directly, it is sometimes possible to work out an agreement without joint, in-person meetings.
Is mediation like therapy?
Both mediation and couples/family therapy focus on productive communication and working through conflicts, but mediation is not therapy. It focuses on legal and practical decisions. Some couples and families find it helpful to work with a therapist as well.
How long does the mediation process take?
We can usually get started as soon as you’re ready. Mediation sessions are typically scheduled for 2 hours at a time, once every week or more. The number of sessions you’ll need will depend on the type of conflict you want to address and how complex the issues are. Mediated divorces typically take 2-5 months or less, while simpler disputes may be resolved in 1 or 2 sessions.
Where and when does the mediation take place?
Mediation sessions take place in a neutral setting (like a conference room). The mediator will choose the setting after discussing possible locations with both parties to make sure that the location is convenient for everyone. The same goes for the timing of sessions – we will schedule at a time that is agreeable to everyone. Weekend and evening hours are sometimes available.
How much does mediation cost?
There is no retainer fee in mediation . You pay hourly as you go. During the first session, the mediator will help you work out an “agreement to mediate.” This will spell out all financial arrangements clearly so you know what to expect. Payment will be due at the beginning of each session. For more information, call 203-702-1113 or 914-861-6781 for a free consultation, or click here.