divorce mediation
divorce mediation

Beacon Mediation Group


FAQ’S ABOUT DIVORCE MEDIATION

WHAT IS DIVORCE MEDIATION?

Divorce mediation is a process where the parties hire a mediator to help them to draft a separation agreement which will be approved by the Court. The parties work with the mediator to identify and resolve issues pertaining to children, finances, and support. The mediator does not advocate for either party or make decisions. The mediator helps the parties to explore all of their options and the consequences. The process is confidential, unlike in Court where all of your issues are aired in public.

DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY?

You may, but are not required to, be represented by an attorney at mediation. It is recommended that each party retain an attorney to review the separation agreement before it is filed with the Court. Beacon Mediation Group has a panel of attorneys to recommend to the parties.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF DIVORCE MEDIATION OVER LITIGATION?
  • Mediation is less expensive than litigation
  • Mediation is quicker than litigation
  • The parties, not a judge, decide their future
  • Parties adhere to the terms of a mediated agreement more than a litigated judgment
  • The parties can maintain an amicable relationship
  • Less stressful on the parties and children than court
  • The mediation process is private and confidential
WHAT ISSUES ARE MEDIATED?
The most common issues are:

CHILDREN:
  • Legal and Physical Custody
  • Parenting Time/Plans
  • Parental Communication
  • Relocation of a Parent
  • Education, Medical and Extra Curricular expenses
DIVISION OF ASSETS AND DEBTS:
  • Real Estate, including the marital home
  • Personal Property i.e. cars, boats, jewelry, art work
  • Bank Accounts
  • Investment Accounts
  • Retirement Accounts
  • Businesses
  • Premarital Assets
  • Joint and individual debts
SUPPORT:
  • Child Support
  • Alimony
  • Health Insurance
  • Child Care Costs
  • College Costs
Depending on the complexity of the parties issues the mediator may recommend the use of various experts to ensure that the agreement is fair and reasonable. Such experts may include real estate appraisers, financial/tax advisors, business valuation expert.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?
Each session generally lasts 2-3 hours. The average time to reach an agreement is between 9-12 hours. The number of sessions depends on the issues you are facing and the level of agreement between the parties. Once all the issues have been decided a formal separation agreement will be drafted. It generally takes between one and two years to get a final agreement in a litigated case.

DO I HAVE TO GO TO COURT?
The parties must file their agreement and other required documents with the Court and attend a hearing before a Judge to have the agreement approved.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Mediation is charged on an hourly basis for time spent reviewing materials and conducting the mediation. When mediation is completed a formal agreement and required divorce papers will be drafted for an hourly fee. This is the total cost, not per party as in a litigated divorce where both parties pay an attorney an hourly fee often times greater than the hourly fee for mediation.

IS A RETAINER REQUIRED?
Unlike a litigated divorce where parties are required to pay a retainer of $5,000, $10,000 or more mediation does not require a retainer. You simply pay at the end of each session. We accept cash, checks and credit cards. Retainers are only charged for drafting the separation agreement and required documents.

MY SPOUSE AND I DON’T GET ALONG-WILL MEDIATION WORK FOR US?
Our mediators assist you in creating options and solving problems that encourages you to attack the issues, not one another. The mediator will not allow one party to overpower the other. Parties tend to approach the process in a calm manner once they realize that they can resolve the issues without the high emotional and financial cost of a litigated divorce. The presence of a neutral third party who is trained to facilitate constructive conversations dramatically changes the dynamics of a divorcing couple and an amicable resolution is possible even if you do not get along.

CAN I GO TO MEDIATION IF I HAVE ALREADY STARTED A DIVORCE CASE IN COURT?
Yes. Absolutely. In fact many Judges encourage the parties to do so. Just be aware that the Court case has strict deadlines so you will need to consult your attorney or the Court as to how mediation will fit into the case schedule.

YOU OWE IT TO YOURSELF, YOUR CHILDREN, YOUR EMOTIONAL AND FINANCIAL WELL BEING TO MEDIATE YOUR DIVORCE. WE LOOK FORWARD TO HELPING YOU.