Here's a list of frequently asked questions and answers. Click a question below to view the answer.

Mediation is a court-approved process in which an impartial trained person, called a mediator, encourages and facilitates the resolution of a dispute between two or more parties.

It is an informal, client-centered, non-adversarial process, with the objective of helping parties reach a mutually acceptable and voluntary agreement. 90% of clients who voluntarily choose mediation are able to come to an agreement.

A mediator is a neutral third party trained to help facilitate a resolution to a dispute.

The role of the mediator is to help clients explore options and their consequences.   The mediator brings knowledge and experience that can provide a context for decision making. The mediator does not make decisions for, or impose decisions on clients.

The role of the attorney is to advise their client and also prepare their legal documents.

In some cases, clients retain representation during or after the mediation, while in other cases, clients come to mediation following retaining an attorney.  In most cases, clients meet with the mediator, but confer with their attorneys between sessions or following the mediation.

In New Jersey and New York, an attorney can only represent one party to a dispute.

Even if your mediator is an attorney, if he/she mediates your dispute and then represents one of you (since he/she cannot represent both parties), there would be a conflict of interest about who is his/her client.  In this situation, you would also never get the benefit of a second set of eyes to review your agreement for accuracy.  And, if you had to return to mediation at a later date, there would always be a question of the mediator's neutrality after he/she has represented one of you in court proceedings.

Nearly all cases (97+%) settle sooner or later without going to trial.

You can save yourself tens of thousands of dollars of legal costs by starting the mediation process early.  It  is more financially sound to work with a mediator than to invest large sums of money in a litigation process that typically ends in the same place with a similar arrangement.

Mediation helps promote cooperation and self-determination - results that will continue to reap benefits well past the period of controversy.

The process helps eliminate the win-lose atmosphere that is part of many disputes.  Other advantages of mediation over litigation include:

- Mediation is generally faster and less costly
- Mediation is voluntary, private and confidential
- Mediation facilitates creative and realistic solutions
- Mediation allows parties to control their agreements
- Mediation provides a forum for addressing future disputes
- Mediation fosters communication and helps mend relationships

It is never too late to move from the litigation process to mediation - to use mediation to address those remaining issues that would benefit from a focus on interests not positions. It is never too late to change the tenor of your dispute resolution process to one that treats the other party with respect.

Our billing rate of $350 an hour is below the industry average, especially considering you are getting 2 mediators for that fee.

Almost all chargeable hours except the drafting of the Memorandum of Understanding, occur during session time, organically creating the least number of billable hours to you.

The cost of your mediation will depend on the number of hours worked on your case and the number of sessions we meet. Factors that can add to the amount of sessions include but are not limited to; the complexity of your case, the timely production of your documents, the level of conflict, and your willingness to come to an agreement.  In mediation, there are no retainer fees, and you pay for each session on a pay as you go basis, allowing you to maintain control of the expenses of your case.

The total cost of mediation combined with lawyers' fees is often less than one-third the cost of a divorce settlement negotiated by counsel.

For middle-class W-2 employees with children, total mediation fees are usually in the $2,000 to $3,000 range.  This includes four to five 90-minute sessions, preparation of child support guidelines and a parenting plan, a description of the division of your division of assets and liabilities, and the time to write your Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).  If you don't have children, you might be able to complete the mediation process in three sessions; if you have a complex case, you might need more than five sessions.  It has been reported that attorneys charge lower retainer fees for mediated divorce cases, with retainer fees typically in the $1,500 to $3,000 range for W-2 type cases.  Your fees with your attorney are independent of your mediation fees, are set by the attorney, and are paid directly to the attorney you choose.  We can provide your MOU to your attorney in Word format so that they can use the information to prepare your Property Settlement Agreement (PSA) efficiently.