How Mediation Works

Mediation at Resolution Law takes place in a private, informal setting where the couple actively participates in discussions with a goal of reaching an agreement.

The Mediator will first meet with both parties individually for a session lasting 1.5 to 2 hours, followed by anywhere from one or more joint mediation sessions lasting 2 to 2.5 hours each, depending on the complexity and number of issues to be resolved.

Prior to engaging in the mediation process both parties are required to sign a Mediation Agreement whereby they commit to working out the issues without going to Court.

All of the communications made during mediation are “off the record”, meaning that neither party is allowed to subsequently reveal communications made during mediation to a judge  if an agreement is not reached. The purpose is to encourage a free and healthy exchange of ideas during the mediation process without fear that the ideas or proposals could be used against you subsequently in court.

If an agreement or agreements are reached during mediation they are typically summarized by the mediator in a report. The agreements reached are then reviewed by the parties with their lawyers who provide legal advice and practical suggestions. The agreements are then translated into a legally binding contract called a Separation Agreement. Until this occurs the agreements reached in mediation are not binding on either party.

Mediation is usually a relatively inexpensive way to negotiate since the parties share the hourly rate of the mediator and in most circumstances do not pay their lawyers to be present during mediation. Having lawyers present, however, is always an option where one or both parties feel the need for the lawyer’s support and input during the mediation process.