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.
What are the advantages of mediation?
- Mediation is significantly less expensive than litigation.
- Mediation is significantly less time-consuming than litigation.
- Research has shown that mediated agreements are more likely to be followed than court-imposed orders.
- 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.
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 I have spoken with both parties, I will schedule a mediation session. I can usually schedule a mediation session within a few days.
- Once a mediation session has been scheduled, I will email each party some additional information and an intake sheet to complete.
How much will mediation cost?
- I charge $150 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 $900, 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.