Associates in Mediation can help you understand the Mediation Process -- How it works
The divorce mediation process encompasses three major components. Completion of these components generally requires between four and 10 sessions with the mediator depending upon the issues to be resolved.
Session One - Orientation Session
Beginning with orientaiton session, all mediation meetings are scheduled in two-hour time blocks. During the orientation session, the mediator:
- Clarifies the purpose of medation, as well as the respective roles of the mediator and the divorcing parties.
- Explains thoroughly the agreement to mediate and asks each party to sign the agreement.
- Identifies which of the major categories (parenting responsibilities, division of assets and liabilities, support) the parties wish to address during mediation.
- Discusses the role of parties' attorneys (specifically to give them feedback on their proposed agreements and reformat the agreement into a legal document to be fiiled with the court).
- Determines whether the current status of housing arrangements, parenting arrangements, finances and access to possessions is acceptable for at least a minimum of 90 days.
- Mediates short-term agreements on any issues that are generating immediate concerns. If this is the case: Writes up an interim agreement.
- Distributes handouts for future sessions and explains the information gathering process parties need to complete between sessions.
Session Two Through Reaching Final Agreement
Perhaps the most labor-intensive and challenging are the sessions that address the specific concerns to be mediated. During this process, each issue in conflict is tackled and, through a structured negotiation process resolved. The mediator flushes out and documents the details of each agreement and how it will be implemented. As the process progresses, the parties receive multiple revised drafts of their cumulative agreements until all the matters related to their divorce/separation are decided.
In the closure session, the mediator reviews with the parties the final draft of the Mediated Agreement and makes sure they understand the agreement in its entirety. The mediator also outlines steps that can be taken in the future should a problem occur with implementation of the agreement. Parties are encouraged to have these documents reviewed by their respective attorneys and written in proper form to be filed with the court.