Mediation

When you struggle against this moment, you're actually struggling against the entire universe. Instead, you can make the decision that today you will not struggle against the whole universe by struggling against this moment. This means that your acceptance of this moment is total and complete. You accept things as they are, not as you wish they were in this moment. This is important to understand. You can wish for things in the future to be different, but in this moment you have to accept things as they are.

— Deepak Chopra

 

What is Mediation? Mediation is a confidential, voluntary process in which the participants discuss their needs and concerns, and with the assistance of a mediator, utilizing problem-solving techniques, they reach agreements on the issues and create their own solutions.
Voluntary The mediation process is voluntary and any participant, including the mediator, can end the process at any time.
Confidential The mediation process is confidential. What is said in mediation stays in mediation.
Communication It is not necessary to have a conflict-free relationship to mediate a divorce. In fact, most of the couples who work with SLG do not have a conflict-free relationship. In mediation, all that is required is a willingness to participate, a willingness to work toward a resolution, to find answers and solutions that work for you, your spouse and your family. The mediator creates a safe environment for the difficult conversations
Decision Making All decisions are made by you and your spouse, in mediation, and not by the lawyers and judges. Mediation keeps you and your spouse in control of your divorce or legal separation. The Mediator does not take sides or make any of the decisions for you and your spouse. The Mediator will provide information about relevant areas of the law, will help you to share information with each other and help you to become well-informed. All decisions are yours and your spouse to make.
The Agreement The Mediator will ask a lot of questions and raise topics (including tax issues and insurance issues) that the two of you will need to address. The Mediator brings you and your spouse together through a skilled process so that you can decide together, and decide for yourselves all of the issues relating to ending your marriage. Once all of the decisions have been made, the Mediator will draft a Memorandum of Understanding detailing those decisions, which is a plain language document. That document will be the basis for drafting the separation agreement and other legal documents necessary to file for the final divorce with the Court.
Use of Outside Professionals Throughout the process you may find the need to consult with and utilize the services of other professionals (including consulting attorneys, accountants, forensic accountants, business evaluators, financial advisors etc.) to help you to understand the information gathered and produced during mediation. And, most importantly, before the Agreement is finalized, the Mediator will encourage you and your spouse to consult with separate independent outside attorneys to review the agreement with you.
Time Frame Typically, a divorce can be resolved through mediation in approximately 5-6 mediation sessions. Sometimes, it may take fewer sessions and in some instances, many more. It depends upon the couple and the difficulty of the issues being worked out. After an agreement is reached, it can take another month for the legal documents to be drafted and finalized, and once they are signed and filed in court, they are typically signed by a Judge within 60-90 days.
Consultations A FREE 30-minute consultation is available should you want more information to determine whether mediation is right for you, your spouse and your family.
What about Collaborative Law? Collaborative Law, like Mediation, takes place outside of Court, and it is another approach to resolving conflict. It is a process in which both participants sign a Participation Agreement in which they agree that they will not go to court and they will not threaten to go to court. Collaborative Law Practice is a team approach to divorcing. It anticipates the interactive participation of the participants with their collaborative attorneys, collaborative coaches, neutral financial professionals as well as neutral child specialist and other professionals, as may be recommended. The Team works together to facilitate effective communication and constructive negotiations to result in an outcome that that best meets the needs of all of the members of the family.