What is mediation?
- Mediation is a process in which a neutral third-party (mediator) assists two (or more) people in conflict negotiate a resolution. The mediator helps to facilitate difficult conversations with the aim of resolving the dispute. The mediator will not tell you what you should do. The mediator will be in charge of the process, but you will be in charge of the outcome.
Is mediation confidential?
- Confidentiality is at the heart of a mediation session and is critical to a successful resolution. The parties must be assured that they can share sensitive information at the session, where it is necessary to see that their true needs and interests may be met, without fear of subsequent disclosure to their detriment.
What are the advantages of mediation?
- More cost-effective. Mediation is generally a cheaper option than litigation as proceedings are informal and often less complex. While there is a mediator fee, the parties typically share this cost.
- Less time-consuming. Mediation may also lead to a faster outcome than a trial. There are generally many skilled mediators available to hear a matter, and mediation can be set up at the parties' convenience, rather than relying on a busy court schedule.
- Flexible outcomes. There is a range of potential outcomes available to parties in mediation. The court often has limited options, whereas mediation allows the parties to come up with more creative solutions. You know your family unit better than any judge ever will. You can tailor your custody schedule to meet your unique family needs and be creative when designing the schedules.
- Preservation of the co-parenting relationship between the parties. Successful, voluntary mediation can allow the parties to move forward with their co-parenting relationship intact. Since the outcome is mutually agreed upon, the parties are more likely to follow it than a court-ordered version.
- Confidentiality. What happens in mediation stays in mediation. Mediation proceedings are confidential; only the signed final Agreement is not confidential.
What is the Mediator's role?
- The mediator functions as a neutral facilitator.
- The mediator facilitates communication between parties.
- The mediator helps parties identify common issues and develop possible solutions
- The mediator helps parties work through possible solutions to come to an agreement.
- The mediator does not make decisions or give advice.
- The mediator does not lead either party in any specific direction.
- The mediator can choose to hold sessions together or separate the parties.
- The mediator controls how the mediation proceeds.
What will happen in mediation?
- After the parties have been given an opportunity to make an initial statement, the mediator will help them determine what issues need to be discussed and resolved. The trained mediator will use specific problem-solving techniques to help the parties clarify their interests and work together to develop options for resolution.
- If an agreement is reached, the mediator will draft the agreement using the terms defined by the parties. The mediator will then send the agreement to each of the parties for their review, and review by their respective attorneys, if they have any. If there are any changes to be made, the mediator will speak with each of the parties and make any changes that both parties agree to. If necessary, an additional mediation session can be convened to go over the agreement and changes.
Will you prepare our court papers?
- I will prepare your mediated agreement, but I will not prepare the court documents for your divorce or custody action. You can download the appropriate forms from the Washoe County Court, Family Division Self Help Center and attach the mediated agreement to those forms. If either party has an attorney, the attorney can draft the necessary court documents for you.
I want to try mediation, now what?
- The first step is to call or email me to schedule a free telephone consultation. I will also speak with the other party. Since mediation is a voluntary process, both parties have to agree to participate. Once both parties have agreed to proceed with mediation, I will schedule a mediation session. I can usually schedule a mediation session within a few days. I offer flexible scheduling, including evenings and weekends.
- Once a mediation session has been scheduled, I will email each party some additional information and intake forms to complete.
How much will mediation cost?
- I charge $200 per hour for mediation time, agreement drafting, and other time necessarily expended on the mediation case. Fees are typically split equally between the parties, but can be divided in any manner in which you both agree.
- I typically charge a retainer of $1,200 to be paid prior to the first mediation session. Again, this is typically split equally between the parties, but can be divided in any manner in which you both agree.
- If, at the conclusion of mediation, my fees are less than the retainer, I will refund any unused portion. Some mediations end up exceeding the initial retainer. In those instances, I will request an additional deposit.