What can a Mediator do for us?
Through skilled mediation techniques we can help keep conversations healthy and productive. Some issues are more sensitive than others and if not properly addressed can escalate tensions. Mediation provides a neutral third party, someone who will coordinate the conversation and provide an atmosphere that encourages healthy communication. A Mediator can help make a difficult conversation more comfortable and guide conflicting parties towards an understanding that each side can live with.
What happens during Mediation?
Mediation starts with the Mediator explaining the process. The Mediator asks you both to state your views, express your feelings and describe your goals. The Mediator will facilitate your exploring ways to resolve and create an agreement. The Mediator may ask to meet with you alone so you can talk more comfortably. Attorneys are welcome to attend your mediation session, but are not required. Multiple sessions may be scheduled as needed.
Do we have to agree on everything?
Mediation is not an all or nothing process. Parties can agree in some areas and not in others. This is still a successful mediation. You may only need the Court involved on issues where you have truly reached an impasse. It is always beneficial for parties, especially where children are involved, to minimize Court intervention.
What happens if we do not agree?
If an agreement cannot be reached, you can still go to Court. Even when a case is not resolved through mediation, the parties often gain a better understanding of the others person's position and concerns.
Can we waive Mediation and go straight to a hearing?
With few exceptions, if you have children, the Court will require you to try mediation first before they will schedule a hearing. The Court process can be very slow. With significant cutbacks to the judicial budget in New Hampshire a couple of years ago, it can take months to get a hearing. If parties can not settle their case, it often takes 18 months to 2 years for the Court to finalize your divorce.
How is the agreement drafted?
Once an agreement is reached, the Mediator will write a draft of the documents. Parties can sign off on the agreement but are encouraged to have it legally reviewed. The Parties submit the documents to the Court. A judge will review them and generally issue a Court Order.
Mediation vs. Litigation
With mediation we can assist you in settling your divorce, prepare necessary documents, address concerns, explore options and frame communication. We may also save you time, money, allow you to be heard, and creatively problem solve. With Litigation, the Courts determine the timing and pace of your case, renders final decisions, and does not improve existing communication conflicts.
How long does mediation take?
Every case is unique and the dynamics are different. The duration of mediation is dependent upon the complexities, flexibilities and determination of the parties to meet and negotiate. A major benefit of mediation is that the participants can move through the process as quickly as they are comfortable.
How much does mediation cost?
Mediation is much less than the cost of litigation. The rate for our professional services is $150/hr.