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What is Divorce Mediation?
You might be wondering what all they hype is about mediation. In a divorce situation mediation assists couples with negotiating an acceptable Divorce Decree (Agreement) with the assistance of a neutral 3rd party: the mediator. The mediator helps the parties communicate, negotiate and draft all the court documents but does not make any decisions for them.
Is Divorce Mediation better than going to a lawyer?
With the assistance of a mediator negotiating a Divorce Decree (Agreement) will almost always take less time and cost less money, yet still achieve the certainty and closure you desire.
Although in the vast majority of situations mediation is preferable to the adversarial court process, for some couples negotiating directly with each other, even with the assistance of a mediator may not be possible. Some of these situations are due to ongoing domestic violence and/or substance abuse or simply because one of the parties is unwilling.
How much does Divorce Mediation cost?
After years of practicing law I have come to the conclusion that in the vast majority of situations Flat Fees are the best option for clients, especially for Divorce Mediation. Clients have told me over and over that their favorite feature of flat fees is predictability. This means that from the beginning you can get a firm budget for my services through the conclusion of your divorce. Flat fees also help to remove tension from the Divorce Mediation process allowing us to focus on your matter without the concern that a meter is running.
In comparison divorce attorneys in Connecticut often charge $250 to $400 per hour and require sizable retainer between $2000 and $10,000. Please keep in mind that these fees and retainers would be applicable for each individual. So imagine how expensive it could be.
My goal is to provide you with the highest quality divorce at the lowest possible cost. I have designed a special $795* Program for amicable couples seeking an uncontested divorce. This affordable program is expertly designed and includes all the court documents, up to 2 hours of mediation and a custom written Divorce Decree (Agreement) for you to file with the court.
For clients who need more help, I will outline in detail what the Flat Fee will be, upfront, so that you will be confident what the conclusion of your marriage will cost you.
How long does Divorce Take?
Divorce Mediation almost always takes less time than adversarial court litigation. For many of my clients the goal is to find resolution within several sessions. Mediation sessions are typically one hour long. Once we begin and depending on your unique circumstances, some of my clients can expect to complete the process and be divorced within as little as 5 - 6 weeks. This is our goal, however, if you find that more time is required I am happy to accommodate your schedule and needs, it's up to you.
Is Divorce Mediation Confidential?
Privacy and strict confidentiality is one of the hallmarks of mediation, in fact it's the law. Connecticut General Statutes Section 52-235d says that nobody can use what is said in mediation as evidence in court. Court is a public forum and much of the business conducted there and the outcomes are available to the public. Confidentiality is a powerful tool and encourages people to participate fully and openly without fear. Before we get started I will discuss how the confidentiality rules apply.
Can we mediate if we don't get along or agree on all of the issues?
No case is too difficult to be settled using mediation. It is every mediator's responsibility to assist the parties with a peaceful resolution to their divorce. I have found that it can be reassuring to each participant when an opportunity to be heard has been provided to them. When participants experience mediation without high emotion they are often more willing to cooperate, find common ground and satisfactory resolution.
As your mediator I control the process and will discontinue a session if one of the parties is unable, for any reason, to be effective during the process. I do not take cases where physical, emotional or financial abuse is occurring. Although rare to not fully agree, in cases where an issue has been left undecided an Agreement can still be prepared on all of the resolved issues, and the remainder can either be temporarily set aside and given further consideration and mediated later or the couple can litigate for a determination of the undecided issue.
Are there any benefits of working with a mediator who is also an attorney?
As a mediator who is also an attorney, I bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the mediation process. My professional experience provides insight to the legal process and divorce; a qualification other mediators may not have. Having practiced law in Connecticut since 1999, I am uniquely suited to assist you with the completion of court documents and the custom drafting of the Divorce Decree (Agreement) and Parenting Plans. My knowledge and experience with the legal system can help reduce time, confusion and stress.
Who else should we consult during our divorce?
I always recommend, when appropriate for your unique circumstances, that you consult with outside 3rd party professionals. These may include: