Mediation is the better alternative for people who want to determine their own future. It is private and voluntary; it is less emotional, non-adversarial, less expensive and faster than going to court.
Remember, you are in charge when you choose to mediate!
You don’t have to be best friends to mediate – as long as you are willing to negotiate in good faith, mediation can be an option for you.
Mediation is an open discussion process that encourages people to work out their own negotiated settlement. The mediator works with both sides to help them communicate to identify key issues and gather relevant information. He helps them create mutually satisfactory solutions agreeable to both sides. There is no long, costly, emotionally draining court battle.
Mediation helps people work out their own solutions, rather than having a solution to their dispute imposed by a judge or a magistrate.
The goal of mediation is win-win.
What does Mediation cost and how long does it take?
A mediation can take a few hours, several days or a few months. There is no set answer to this. It simply depends on how complex the situation is, the number and type of assets being divided and the willingness of both parties to compromise.
A divorce mediation can take between three and six sessions of 2 hours to 3 hours each. Or it may take longer. Cost is based on an hourly rate for meetings plus the time for outside phone consultations, research (if needed) and office time for preparation of settlement documents. For example, a divorce mediation might cost $1000. Another divorce mediation with numerous assets, properties, children from a previous and current marriage and a business could cost $8,000 plus. It simply depends and each situation is unique.
A business mediation can be completed in the same length of time, but often takes much longer if there are several parties, employees and partners and complex business involved.
Very often couples who are divorcing will want to “do it themselves.” This is known as divorcing “Pro-Per”. But going through all the court’s procedures correctly and filling out all the legal forms can be a frightening, overwhelming task. We can relieve that emotional stress by helping you navigate your way through this process and making certain it’s all taken care of. Just call us for cost and specific information.
Mediation costs are usually divided between the two parties.
Compare these costs and time frames with the cost and time frame of a dispute contested in court and the uncertainly of the outcome.
Please call us at (269) 375-3200 to talk about your specific situation.
What does the mediator do?
The mediator is a neutral third party who does not take sides, but helps both sides to communicate with each other and clarify issues being discussed. An experienced mediator encourages both sides to listen to each other.
He helps them find a mutually beneficial solution that’s agreeable to both of them. The mediator is responsible for protecting both parties and assuring that their decisions are informed and well considered.
What does the mediator want from you?
The mediator wants you to be prepared, willing to discuss what you want and need, be open to different options, bargain in good faith and pay promptly.
What if I have been forced into Mediation by a court?
- Make the most of it!
- You have nothing to lose.
- You might even find that it will give you a satisfactory solution faster and at less cost.
If we reach an agreement and sign it, is it legally binding?
Yes. A settlement agreement is binding in a court of law, like any other signed contract.