Mediation allows divorcing couples to take control of planning their own lives, and allows them an environment in which to make good decisions about their future. It is especially beneficial for parents, who though separating, will need to continue making joint decisions about their children well into the future. The decision-making process learned in mediation can serve as a model for future communications.
A mediator is a neutral party specially trained to help couples resolve the issues in their divorce. The mediator facilitates the communication between the parties by making sure each party is given an uninterrupted time to speak, asking a party to restate or explain a point when necessary, and asking questions to make communication clear. The mediator also provides information about the legal system, how issues may be viewed by lawyers or judges, and what alternatives there are for solving issues. When necessary, the mediator will refer the couple to third party experts for services such as appraisals.
I meet with the couple in a series of mediation sessions. Together, we identify the issues needed to be discussed and the order in which they will be discussed. I provide a worksheet that assists in gathering necessary information to be organized and shared. At the mediation sessions, our conversations revolve around how to compromise on various issues in order to meet the needs of both parties. I assist by providing information about the court system and common ways divorce issues are resolved.
When an agreement has been reached on all issues, I draft the agreement for review by each of the parties.
I assist the parties in filing all papers with the court, including starting the dissolution of marriage action, preparing and filing the necessary disclosure documents, and preparing the agreement, judgment, and final papers to be filed with the court.
Yes. Both parties will have to appear in court for the final uncontested dissolution hearing. I will assist both parties in preparing for their court appearance.
The complexity of the issues and ability of the individuals to be flexible as they negotiate a fair agreement determines the length of the mediation. Every case is different, but the average case usually takes at least three to five mediation sessions, spread out over a few months. More complex cases can take four to six months to complete.
In a typical case, parties can expect to pay a combined total of between $3,000 to $5,000 for cases needing three to five mediation sessions. My billing includes the time for the mediation sessions, and the time for preparation of the Divorce Agreement and other related court documents.
Although I recommend that you consult with independent counsel, you are not required to do so. If you choose to work with another attorney, I will help you to work with that attorney during the mediation.
No case is too complicated to be settled using mediation. Frequently the parties in mediation consult with outside experts such as accountants, appraisers, financial planners and attorneys during the process.
Connecticut law says that no one, not even the two parties, can use what is said in mediation as evidence in court. What happens in mediation is as confidential as settlement negotiations between parties and their lawyers.
I am trained to work with couples who are very emotional about the divorce and don't think they can negotiate face to face. My training and experience is in helping couples who have high emotions but who still would like to work things out peacefully.
I will not allow one party to overpower the other in mediation. If one of the parties is unable to be effective during this process, I will not allow the mediation to continue. Mediation is a voluntary process. Either party can stop the process at any time.