FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is “Divorce Mediation” ?
Divorce mediation is the process by which a couple seeking divorce comes together, and with the guidance of a mediator, participates in the process of deciding the terms of their divorce which will be incorporated into a written agreement prepared by the Mediator. Here at Adirondack Mediation, our mediators are also experienced divorce attorneys. This is not the case in all divorce mediation services.
How does this process begin?
Either party may contact us by email or telephone for the purposes of beginning the process. Prior to setting up a mediation session, the mediator will telephone each party to discuss how the process works and will answer questions about the process. Specifics of your situation will not be discussed in the initial contact, as it would be unethical to do so. If both parties agree, the mediation process will begin by scheduling your first session.
What should we expect during the mediation sessions?
Mediation sessions last approximately 90 minutes. You will likely be asked to complete “homework” for these sessions so as to maximize the productivity of the time we have together. Issues such as property distribution, the needs of the children and other practical issues presented in a divorce situation will be identified and discussed. The mediator’s role is to assist you in reaching an agreement regarding these issues.
How many sessions of mediation will we need and how are the sessions charged?
Depending on the complexity of the issues, in most cases an agreement can be reached within 4 to 6 sessions. Each session is 90 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the needs and schedules of the couple. Fees are charged per session, and payment is due on the day of the session.
Before signing, should we each obtain legal advice from a separate attorney?
Each party in divorce mediation has the option of seeking the advice of an attorney at any time during the mediation and has may pursue the advice of an attorney before signing the agreement. Fortunately, each Attorney-Mediator at Adirondack Mediation has the legal knowledge and expertise necessary to create a legally binding agreement. With that said, each party always has the right to seek the advice of an outside attorney at any point during the mediation process.
Once we reach an agreement, how will we actually get divorced?
The most important aspect of the mediation process is reaching an agreement, as the terms contained in the agreement will eventually be converted to the terms of your divorce. The technical process by which to obtain a divorce after an agreement has been reached is a process which must be undertaken by an attorney. This is a separate process and involves the preparation and filing of legal documents. Adirondack Mediation is able to provide this service for you if both parties agree.
How can I make this process as economical as possible?
It is our job at Adirondack Mediation to help you identify all of the issues which need to be resolved as you contemplate divorce. You can make this process more efficient by doing your “homework”, which is laid out by the mediator. This homework might involve obtaining financial documents or working out a minor issue outside of mediation that the mediator has called to your attention. A significant difference between obtaining a divorce in a traditional manner and mediation, is that in mediation you control the amount of time devoted to the issues that concern you. The mediator’s job is to keep you as a couple focused on resolving your issues in the most efficient way possible.
Is this process confidential?
Yes. Even though the Mediator is not “representing” you as an attorney, each party and the Mediator will sign a confidentiality agreement, agreeing to keep all information exchanged during the course of mediation confidential.
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