"Fast and inexpensive,
confidential and flexible,
empowering and transformative."
As an alternative to litigation, we provide the guidance and legal support crucial to parties reaching equitable marital settlement agreements and parenting plans. While John facilitates communication, negotiation and consensus by creating and holding a mutually respectful mediation environment, Sara brings nearly three decades of legal experience to the table, providing trustworthy legal information and impartial document preparation and review.
Divorce mediation provides an alternative to litigation for couples dissolving their marriage or trying to resolve child custody or parenting time issues. Facilitated by a mediator or team of mediators, mediation helps couples maintain cooperative control over their lives while avoiding the potentially crippling costs, heightened stress, loss of control, and embarrassment of litigation and trial.
What are the Benefits of Mediation?
A primary benefit of mediation is that there is no restriction on the type of issue that can be addressed or solution that the parties can create to suit their particular circumstances. By contrast, judges presiding over a trial are often limited in their ability to hear or adequately address each party’s concerns due to time constraints and court rules restricting what judges can consider and what their authority allows them to order. Marital settlements presided over by a mediator, on the other hand, can be resolved more thoroughly as both parties voice their concerns freely and cooperatively address issues outside of the court’s authority.
In cases involving child custody and parenting time, parents who choose mediation often avoid or lessen the chances of future conflict as each generally makes important contributions and commits to mutual compromises informed by a renewed commitment to shared parental responsibilities, rights and interests.
While litigation involving significant property division and spousal or child support can result in strict, unrealistic or potentially crippling money awards, mediation affords far greater flexibility and allows for more creative options when addressing mutual and individual financial needs. By choosing mediation above litigation, once again, parties afford themselves an opportunity to develop lasting, equitable solutions through a recognition of mutual interests and respect.
What are the Costs Associated with Mediation?
The overall costs of mediation are significantly lower than litigation, some 70% lower on average. Even complex cases requiring real estate appraisals, and outside accounting and specialty services can be dramatically less expensive when settled through mediation as the process simply generates far fewer billable hours, overall.
Is Mediation Right for You?
Mediation is not necessarily the best option for everyone. Because successful mediation requires a “good faith” collaborative effort from both participants, highly contentious couples are generally better served through traditional litigation. For those able and willing to seek cooperative solutions through negotiation, however, mediation facilitates planning for the future rather than surrendering to our complex adversarial judicial system. As no outside authority could possibly understand the complexities of any particular marriage or family dynamic, who could be better equipped than the parties themselves to develop lasting solutions and agreements?
Should Mediation Participants Still Get Independent Legal Advice?
Yes! While attorneys regularly dispense legal information during mediation, such as providing definitions and procedures, attorneys may not offer legal advice when serving as a mediator, such as offering legal opinions or predicting outcomes should the participants choose to litigate . Accordingly, we strongly encourage all mediation participants to individually seek independent legal advice and document review prior to signing any settlement agreement. For the sake of convenience, we provide participants a list of local attorneys known to be familiar with the mediation process.