Although the separation or divorce mediation process may vary from couple to couple depending on the issues and the complexities involved, our approach to mediation remains consistent: neutral, collaborative, solution focused.
We will first have an orientation session where we will review the general separation mediation process as well as the specifics of how things work. This is typically a one to two hour session where we will familiarize you with the most important characteristics of divorce mediation:
· Mediation is voluntary. At any point in the process any participant can end the mediation and find alternatives to resolve some or all of the issues.
· Mediation is a confidential, protected process.
· Full disclosure is critical to a successful mediation. Mediation is not a way to avoid providing information that is important in decision making.
· The differences between providing information and advice. State Certified Mediators can provide valuable information about processes and state-specific laws, but cannot provide advice on how those laws might apply.
· The cost and timing of mediation.
· All necessary agreements, especially the Agreement to Mediate, the Marital Settlement Agreement and any applicable Parenting Plans.
During our second session, we will:
· Identify your couple-specific topics that need to be explored for a successful mediated agreement.
· Prioritize those topics for discussion.
· Begin to discuss your marital assets and how they might be distributed.
· Discuss any immediate issues that require temporary agreement.
Subsequent sessions will drill-down into each topic until you successfully reach agreement. You will determine the tempo of the mediation process as well as the pace in which decisions are made. The mediation process enables you to more freely explore topics and how they are related since conversations and temporary decisions are confidential and not finalized until the Marital Settlement Agreement is signed.
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