WILL MEDIATION WORK FOR ME?
If both parties agree to disagree and are willing to seek professional, informed assistance in resolving those disagreements then mediation will be successful.
WHAT IF MY SPOUSE IS RELUCTANT?
In most cases, the decision to proceed with the divorce rests predominantly with one party who contacts the mediator. Attorney Whish will invite both parties to speak with her prior to the initial meeting to establish a comfort level with her and with the process.
HOW DOES THE PROCESS WORK?
After the initial contact, Attorney Whish sends out an introductory letter accompanied by a Mediation Agreement and Financial Statements for the parties to complete and bring to the first meeting. She also invites both parties to speak with her prior to the initial meeting to discuss any questions or concerns.
At the initial meeting, the Financial Statements are reviewed, issues are identified and follow-up work in terms of documentation, appraisals and consults with financial professionals are determined. After the follow-up work is completed, the parties meet with Attorney Whish for as many sessions as is necessary to resolve all issues.
Attorney Whish then drafts a divorce Agreement for review by the parties and/or their consulting counsel should they choose to retain one. Once the Agreement is approved, Attorney Whish prepares the final version along with all other necessary documents and submits them to the Court along with a request for a hearing date. The parties then make one court appearance for approval of the Agreement.
WHAT ISSUES ARE ADDRESSED IN A DIVORCE?
The following areas are contained in a divorce Agreement: personal property, real property, parenting plan, child support, alimony if applicable, tax exemptions for children, health insurance, life insurance, debts and college education for the children.
HOW IS PAYMENT MADE?
The cost of the mediator's fee, appraisal fees, court fees and all other fees and costs are equally divided between the parties. There is no retainer fee paid up front. At the end of each mediation session, the parties pay the mediator for the time spent.
WHAT IS THE RANGE OF COST?
The amount of time needed to resolve a divorce or other post-divorce disputes depends greatly on the complexity of the issues. In a case involving complex finances, there is a need to collect verifying documents, appraise assets and perhaps consult a financial professional.
If there is a child related issue which has put the parties at odds, time needs to be taken to fully explore each parties' concerns in order to determine common ground.
The time involved at a cost of $200/hr. can range from 4 hours for a very simple case to as many as 30 hour for an intricate case for a cost range of approximately $800 to $6,000 for mediation time.(approximate estimates) In addition, there is a charge for preparation of the Agreement which varies according to complexity, appraisal fees, consultation fees with consulting counsel or other professionals and the Court filing fee of $215.00.
This is significantly less expensive and less draining than if each party retains counsel and litigates issues.