How Mediation Works
Mediation is a straightforward three-step process that moves at whatever pace best suits you. Michael will guide you through each step, helping you to understand your choices, the law, your rights and what typical agreements look like.
There’s never pressure to settle. Your mediation is complete when you’re comfortable with your whole agreement. Mediators don’t impose settlements, like a Judge or other outsider might.
Ordinarily, meetings are 90 minutes and are about one to two weeks apart, depending on your needs. Of course, you can instead schedule mediation meetings on your timeline, so the process moves at a pace that’s comfortable for you.
A typical mediation includes the following steps:
Michael will learn about you, your family, and your finances — what your concerns are, any goals you have for the process, as well as any ‘ground rules’ you’d like for both of you to observe during the mediation. He’ll also learn about your children if you have kids: things like each child’s academic, social and developmental progress. Finally, Michael will help you to identify and gather the legal and financial documents and other information you’ll need, so later on you’ll be prepared to make choices that best fit you.
Michael will help you identify the central issues and help you to set the course to resolve them — Michael will also help you to understand the law and what a court might do in situations like yours, to give you guidance in resolving each topic. Since Michael holds a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family therapy, he also has the skills and tools to help you keep things calm, help you to be heard, and help you reach agreements.
Once you are comfortable with all features of your agreement, the necessary legal documents are drafted and filed with the court — Since Michael is also an attorney, he can take care of most of this for you, if you choose, which is typical. Or you can do this yourself, or have someone else do this if you rather. And once a Judge approves your agreement, it is official and legally binding, just as in court-litigated cases.
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“People who use mediation are three times as likely to be satisfied with the outcome, versus using courts or having lawyers do the negotiation”
— St. John’s University Law Review