Frequently Asked Questions About Mediation
Q: What is Mediation
A: Mediation, unlike litigation, is a cooperative process wherein a mutually selected, neutral mediator attorney assists you in reaching your own agreement. This process allows you to maintain control of your lives, keep your dignity and respect in the process.
Working with a professional mediator allows you to resolve all issues in family transitions including divorce, legal separation, post-divorce parenting, elder and parent care or estate and inheritance. Some issues may include division of assets, allocation of debts, comprehensive parenting arrangements for minor children, and financial support issues.
Q: How is Mediation Different From Litigation?
A: In litigation, you likely have two attorneys and you may both lose control over critical decisions and of your lives to those attorneys or the court. Research shows mediation is less stressful, takes less time and is less costly than win-lose litigation. In mediation, you both work together in a private and safe environment that respects your individual needs and protects your privacy and dignity. This allows you to make agreements while allowing you to maintain control; save money and assets; protect your privacy and children.
We provide the legal, financial, parenting, and other information to make fully informed decisions. You both then decide what agreement will work based on your specific relationship, needs, family and situation. Research shows that agreements reached in mediation are followed by both people and dramatically reduce disputes after the divorce is finalized.
Q: How to Choose a Mediator?
A: Mediators have different backgrounds. You may benefit from a mediator with multi-disciplinary professional experience, skills and knowledge in law, business and psychology. We provide you a highly skilled mediator who is a licensed Arizona Attorney, a licensed psychological professional and has extensive business experience.
With this powerful combination, we create a safe environment and provide the necessary legal, financial and parenting information to support you in making fully informed decisions about what is best in your transition.
Q: What does a Mediator do?
A: We provide comprehensive services including, but not limited to mediation sessions, preparing your Comprehensive Mediated Settlement Agreement and preparing all the necessary court documents. As your mediator, we will work with you to attain the fully informed decisions that are the basis of your agreement. We will provide you with information for legal, financial and parenting decisions and agreements. We assist in dealing with intense emotions you and your children may experience as a normal part of family transitions, divorce or legal separation. We provide homework between sessions to maximize your session time.
Q: What Does Mediation Cost?
A: Mediation is a highly cost effective alternative to litigation. We offer a free consultation to explain our services and benefits, as well as offer an estimate of costs based on the specifics of your situation. Mediation saves time, money, energy and can dramatically reduce trauma.
Mediation is frequently less than one quarter of the cost of traditional divorce and may be completed in four to six months rather than the average of one to two years. Attorneys typically require large retainers of $2,500 – $7,500 per person for litigation. The time consuming nature of litigation often leads to further escalating costs. There are often post-divorce litigation proceedings that continue the high costs and increased emotional trauma for adults, children and families.
Q: Is Mediation Right for Us?
A: Mediation works for most couples. Whether you need to start from the beginning or just need to settle those last few details, mediation can provide a safe, cost effective, often quicker alternative to litigation. If one spouse is in physical danger or unwilling to participate then mediation would not be the right process.
Q: Is Mediation Successful?
A: Yes, research shows Mediation is very successful. We have over 95% agreement rate and rarely does a person choose to use the costly litigation process and time in court. Your confidential mediation process is safe and effective.