Answers to common questions about mediation.
This is your process. My role is that of an impartial facilitator. While you talk with each other, I address power imbalances, guide participants from states of high emotion back to their thinking selves, keep the discussion courteous and on track, ask questions that probe for possibility and see that proposals are well considered as you forge your own durable decisions.
Unlike an attorney, a mediator can assist multiple parties simultaneously in negotiation and agreement writing. I do not advocate for any person, give advice or take sides. Rather than make decisions like a judge or arbitrator, I assist you in making your own agreements.
Facilitative mediation follows a simple structure with a few rules of conduct. Each party has uninterrupted time to describe the situation from their perspective. I'll help you build an agenda and then explore solutions and negotiate each issue. When agreements are reached, I write them up for your use or filing.
Mediation is voluntary, so no one can be forced to attend, unless court ordered. I can help you propose mediation and will answer questions from anyone you invite. Once informed, most people see the benefits of participating and choose to attend.
Arrangements can be made for out-of-town or confined family members to participate by phone or online. I set up and manage this process, ensuring everyone has the opportunity to participate.
Time and cost depend on the complexity of the issues to be addressed, the extent of documentation needed, and how prepared and productive the participants are. Mediation requires preparation time and at least one or two sessions. For example, I charge a $300 flat fee for an optional 90-minute introductory meeting which starts the process and results in an agenda for subsequent meetings. A simple 3-hour single-session mediation costs $675. A common three-session mediation with document preparation can range from $2500 to $3,000.
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