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Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party trained in resolving disputes meets with both parties to help them decide how to resolve their dispute. The decision making power rests with the parties and not the mediator.
The amount of time you spend in mediation will vary according to the issues that are in dispute. Some mediations take only a couple of hours. Others may last for several sessions.
Your mediator charges $300 per hour split evenly between the parties. While the time spent in mediation varies according to complexity, an average divorce mediation consists of a single 5-6 hour session.
Usually just the parties to the case, their attorneys, the mediator and a paralegal will be present at the mediation. Both parties, along with their attorneys, should agree to have extra people involved in the mediation.
Having an attorney present is strongly recommended; an attorney will be able to advise you of your legal rights throughout the mediation process. If you decide to attend mediation without an attorney present, you should talk to your attorney before the mediation so you know what your legal rights are.
What people say in mediation is generally confidential and can’t be disclosed outside of the mediation sessions. A judge usually won’t allow either party or the mediator to testify in court about statements made by participants in the mediation. There are some limits to confidentiality, however. For example, your mediator may have a duty to report child abuse, elderly and disabled persons abuse, threats of physical violence and computer crimes.
Each party should rely on his or her attorney for legal advice. Although mediators may discuss certain aspects of the law, a mediator is not there to provide legal advice.
Yes. You can contact the mediator with concerns you have about the mediation. However, most mediators prefer to meet with you in person during the mediation to discuss your case in detail.
The mediator will typically meet separately with each party to discuss and understand their positions, and then alternate meeting with each party to communicate offers and assist in negotiating a settlement of the case.
The mediator will select an available location agreeable to you.
If the parties along with their attorneys reach an agreement, the mediator’s paralegal will print out a prepared agreement incorporating the terms of the agreement for the parties and their attorneys to review , revise, and sign at the conclusion of the mediation.