Mediation – What process can I expect after I contact your office?
Step 1 – Intake Forms, Retainer and Retainer Agreement
We will send you and the other party a mediation intake form. It’s extensive but important so that we can ensure that our mediation service is a good fit.
Our standard retainer for a mediation is $2,500 per party. Retainers are held in our trust account to be applied to future invoices. Retainers are not estimates. If your matter concludes and there are unused retainer funds we will return all of the remaining funds to you. If you require more legal services we will request that you provide additional retainer funds.
Step 2 – Intake Calls
Once we have received your intake forms, your retainer funds and your retainer agreement we will set up intake calls with each party separately. These calls take on average 30 minutes to 1 hour and we will go over your intake form, issues to be resolved, and other important initial matters.
Step 3 – Mediation Sessions
We typically set up 2-3 mediation sessions where the mediator and the parties meet together in one room (or a virtual room). The sessions are booked for 2-3 hours at a time and are booked 3-4 weeks apart.
Session 1 – Agenda typically addresses:
Information gathering and exchange
Determination of any third party professionals would be helpful
Interests and goals
Issues to be decided
Setting our path to resolution
Dealing with urgent matters
Session 2/3 – Agenda typically addresses:
Reviewing information exchanged to date
Discussing a parenting plan (if there are children)
Discussing incomes and support (if child or spousal support is an issue)
Discussing asset and debt division
After each mediation session you will receive confidential minutes of the mediation session which are point form notes confirming what we discussed. These are helpful if you want to speak with legal counsel to receive legal advice in between your mediation sessions but not have them attend the mediation.
Step 4 – Agreement
Once you reach agreement it will still be subject to your receipt of legal advice. This means you will have opportunity to receive legal advice before any binding agreements are made.
During the course of the mediation sessions we will also ask you to confirm if you want us to draft a final settlement document for you to review with your legal advisors or if you would like to rely on your minutes of the mediation session and have one of your legal counsel draft your final settlement document.
Things to keep in mind:
One of the benefits of mediation is that the process can be flexible. Therefore, we can adjust the process to fit your specific families needs.
There are options available to meet in person or by electronic means.
Please note: A mediator is not a legal advisor. The role of a mediator is as a neutral facilitator. This means that we will not provide legal advice or a legal opinion when providing this service.