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How does mediation work?
The parties meet together with the mediator to discuss
their situation and the goals they wish to achieve. The
couple may explore the areas of agreement and
disagreement and determine what is needed to move
forward. The parties exchange information on the
community property assets and debts as well as their
respective earnings and expenses. The parties discuss
how to minimize stress during the separation period
and how to co-parent the children effectively.

What is required in mediation?
Mediation requires trust, respect, and an honest
desire to work toward a common goal. While it is
helpful for the parties to be able to communicate
effectively, the mediator will help each party identify
and express their individual needs and interests. It is
not necessary to have considered any settlement
options prior to meeting in mediation.

Will mediation save money?

Absolutely. If you compare the cost of mediation with the traditional adversarial divorce where each party
hires an attorney at $350 per hour, and the issues are determined by a judge, in mediation the couple shares the hourly cost of the attorney-mediator. The time invested in the mediation process is much more productive; agreements reached together are more likely to be respected than decisions imposed by a judge.

Will the mediator prepare court papers?
Yes. The mediator will prepare all of the preliminary court documents, review them with the parties and file them with the court. After the parties have reached an
agreement, the mediator will prepare the Marital
Settlement Agreement and it will be filed with the
court along with additional required court documents.

Will I need to hire an attorney during mediation?
You may choose to consult with an attorney prior to
and during the mediation process. It is recommended that you have an attorney review the final
agreement before it is signed. Usually attorneys will provide an hourly consultation fee to review
agreements with you. Occasionally parties will hire an attorney to prepare the agreement which has been
reached in mediation.

How much will it cost to get divorced if we use a mediator?
Most couples are able to reach a total agreement in three to five I to 2 hour sessions. It is not possible to quote an actual fee for any divorcing couple, since some couples reach agreements more quickly than others and some cases have fewer issues than others.

Do we split the cost equally?
The mediation agreement states that the parties
equally pay the fees. Often a community bank account
is used to pay mediation fees.

How will we know if the mediation process will work for us?
The only way to know for sure is to set up a time to
meet together with the mediator to discuss your situation. At this appointment, you will each be able
to ask all of your questions of the mediator and of the other party. This first meeting is an opportunity to get
a feel for the mediation process.

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