Together you can make the best decisions for your family's future
Mediation is a voluntary, non-adversarial process in which an independent, neutral third party assists family members to resolve their disputes. Mediation provides a safe and structured environment for you and your spouse to have informed discussions about parenting and financial issues, so that together you can make the best decisions for your family’s future. Most discussions in mediation are confidential, and cannot be used outside of the mediation process.
As your family mediator, I will facilitate discussions between you and your spouse and help you resolve of all of your family law issues. I will ensure you and your spouse each have all of the information needed to reach a meaningful and enduring settlement.
I provide clients with legal information regarding the issues in their case and ensure they consider all of the issues that may be relevant to their circumstances, but I do not provide legal advice to either spouse in mediation. Before signing any final agreement, it is very important that each spouse obtains independent legal advice from his or her own lawyer.
The Mediation Process - What to Expect
The first step in mediation is for each spouse to have a private intake meeting with me to discuss the mediation process and to review the spouse's background information and goals for the future. Every family has unique needs and circumstances, and these intake meetings help me design a mediation process specifically tailored to your family.
After the intake meetings, it is recommended that each spouse obtain legal advice from his or her own lawyer to ensure both spouses fully understand all of their potential legal rights and obligations. This will help you and your spouse make informed and sensible decisions in mediation.
You will be asked to exchange information relating to your income, assets and liabilities as part of the process, to facilitate discussions about your settlement.
Prior to the first mediation session you will sign an Agreement to Mediate confirming the rules of the process and that you will each be respectful, honest, and negotiate in good faith.
The mediation process is flexible, and can range from multiple mediation sessions of 2-3 hours each, to a full day mediation in certain cases. It often takes more than one mediation session to resolve all of the issues, especially where the matter is complex. In some cases, mediation will take place with both spouses in the same room. At other times, I may use “caucusing” also known as “shuttle mediation”, where I meet with each spouse separately. Some spouses may wish to have their lawyers attend mediation with them, to support them through each step of the discussions. Some spouses may wish their lawyers to have a more limited role, and they may attend mediation without lawyers and seek legal advice only on an as-needed basis during the process. As your mediator, I will work with you and your spouse to craft a mediation process that will be the most beneficial and productive for you.
The goal of mediation is for you and your spouse to agree upon the terms of a final separation agreement and/or parenting plan. In some cases, there may be short-term issues that need to be addressed more quickly, in which case a temporary agreement or partial agreement may be entered into while the balance of the issues are being negotiated.
Once you feel you have reached a satisfactory resolution, you may ask me to prepare a draft agreement for you and your spouse to each review with your respective lawyers. Another option is to have me prepare a memorandum summarizing the discussions that took place in mediation, which can then be used by your lawyers to prepare an agreement. Agreements reached in mediation are not binding until they have been incorporated into a written agreement signed by both spouses.
Schedule an intake meeting to see if family mediation is right for you. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Copyright 2015 Daniella Wald Family Law Resolutions