"When it came to making decisions about our children, mediation helped my wife and I work it out."
"Mediation was cost effective and allowed my husband and I to make our own decisions, at our own pace."
In mediation: We help people make their own decisions about all aspects of separation and divorce.
How Divorce Mediation Works
In mediation people can:
- prioritize issues they need to discuss,
- develop a complete agreement detailing all of their decisions,
- reduce the financial costs associated with divorce.
Mediation provides a forum for face-to-face conversations so that people can make decisions about how to separate and divorce. It’s both a voluntary and confidential process. Impartial mediators help communication and support the parties own decision-making.
Through a series of sessions, the parties work with divorce mediators to address all of the issues that must be resolved in a legal separation or divorce.
The Center recommends that each person consult with an attorney during the mediation process. An attorney can serve as an advisor/coach, providing legal advice about the risks and benefits of decisions that each person is considering. The Center can provide a list of experienced matrimonial attorneys who are familiar with the mediation process.
Based upon decisions made in mediation, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is drafted by the mediator. Parties take their completed MOU to an attorney(s) who will review the MOU, convert it into a legal separation and/or divorce and file it with the court.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does the mediation process take?
After each person has had a private consultation and they and the Mediation Center agree whether or not to proceed with mediation, most people complete the mediation process in 2-5 sessions. People determine the number of sessions needed based on how quickly they can gather information and make decisions. When information has been gathered and all decisions made, the mediator can draft the MOU.
How can we prepare for mediation?
Consider speaking with an attorney or other professional who can help you think about options. Gather relevant materials such as mortgage documents, tax returns, and pension information. Research procedures for separating joint accounts, credit cards, insurance policies, etc.
How will the mediators help us?
Divorce mediators are professionals with extensive training in mediation and New York State divorce requirements. They help participants discuss issues and can provide information when appropriate. The mediator’s role is to help people have the conversations they need to have to move through the divorce process. The mediator can often help people think about their situation in new and different ways and help them prioritize the issues for discussion according to their individual circumstances.
How do attorneys work with the mediation process?
Attorneys can play an important role for people while they are in mediation. Recommendations for working with an attorney-each person has his/her own attorney-while in mediation include:
- Advisor/Coach-answering specific legal or court outcome questions to increase informed decision-making during the mediation process,
- Independent review and conversion of the MOU for each person (1 attorney each) in preparation for a separation agreement or divorce.
People can use their own attorneys or choose from the Mediation Center’s list of experienced matrimonial attorneys who are familiar with our services. Divorce mediation fees are charged for:
- Consultation appointments,
- Mediation sessions (on an hourly basis),
- Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
- Fees are paid at the time of service.
How do I begin the divorce mediation process?
Contact the Mediation Center for a private, in-person consultation. Each party must call to set up his or her confidential appointment. Call us at 845.471.7213.