WHAT IS FAMILY MEDIATION?
Family mediation applies the basic principles of mediation to the resolution of issues that arise in families. In family mediation, a neutral participant assists the disputing parties resolve their disagreement by facilitating their discussions and guiding them to appropriate resources and advisors.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF FAMILY MEDIATION?
Family mediation is transformative and can result in sound decision-making, reconciliation of divergent views, clearing the air, lessening resentment, greater understanding, improved communication, and transformation of relationships. Family mediation also benefits clients by avoiding costly and hurtful litigation.
HOW DOES FAMILY MEDIATION WORK?
Family mediation is a facilitated process of family dispute resolution. A family law mediator promotes discussion and negotiation that allows the participants involved in a conflict or a dispute the opportunity to exchange divergent views, ask questions, discuss difficult topics and find solutions. A family mediator is a neutral third party who assists the participants to explore and find mutually acceptable solutions. Family mediation generally entails a series of meetings with the clients and the mediator that promote effective communication and decision making about the issues that need to be addressed. Family mediators are neutral, trained individuals who help family members facilitate useful discussion and guides the members through considering possible solutions and options to address various problems through brainstorming, experience, and attentive listening by the mediator. Realistic solutions are proposed and considered. The clients have control over the process. What generally results is the creation of a sound, mutually acceptable agreement to address the parties’ particular circumstances.
WHAT ISN’T COVERED IN FAMILY MEDIATION?
Family law mediation is not psychotherapy, marital counseling, or legal representation. Mediators with backgrounds in law or mental health (or other areas) do not represent or counsel mediation clients during the family mediation process, but rather serve as neutral facilitators of the decision-making process.
HOW DO WE START THE PROCESS?
After the initial free consultation, usually conducted by telephone with each person involved, the mediation session will be scheduled at a time and in a location that is mutually agreeable and convenient to all parties.
The Covid-19 era proved that mediation and parenting coordination by video conferencing was not only safer when the risk of Covid-19 exposure was high, but it was highly efficient and effective. Meeting by video conference reduces travel time, time off work and the need for child care. As such, most mediation and parenting coordination sessions continue to held by video and/or telephone conference; however, in-person sessions may be requested and conducted in our downtown Colorado Springs location. In most cases, sessions are conducted (whether remote or in-person) with the parties separated into two conference rooms and a “shuttle mediation” will be done. Follow-up sessions as needed are also be conducted via telephone or video conference.
HOW QUICKLY CAN WE GET OUR MEDIATION SCHEDULED?
Mediations can usually be scheduled as quickly as 48-hours after the initial consultation.
HOW LONG DOES MEDIATION TAKE?
The minimum time for the initial session is two (2) hours but it is strongly suggested that all parties to the mediation be available for at least four (4) to eight (8) hours over the course over several days and even weeks to allow adequate time to present each side, negotiate and reach a settlement agreement that would be put in writing before the mediation is officially finalized and adjourned. With family and parenting mediations, sessions are rarely started and completed in a single session.
DO WE MEET AND COMPLETE OUR MEDIATION IN ONE SESSION?
Multiple sessions, for example two to three four-hour sessions, are usually needed and requested by the parties.
HOW MUCH DOES MEDIATION COST?
The standard fee for the first two-hours of mediation is $150 per hour, billed at a rate of $75 per hour per party to be paid prior to the scheduled mediation.
Follow-up meetings are conducted at the reduced rate of $100 per hour (billed at the rate of $50 per person per hour) by telephone, electronic communication and/or video conference. Drafting the Memorandum of Agreement (MOU), final agreement and any forms requested by the parties is also billed at the rate of $100 per hour ($50 per person per hour).
Fees are billed and due for payment on a “pay as you go” weekly basis beyond the initial 2-hour session. Accordingly, there is no large retainer due or deposit required to start the mediation process.
A Sliding Scale Fee Arrangement is always offered in cases involving children under which each party may, based upon financial need, arrange to pay less than the standard fee per hour for mediation services.
HOW MUCH DOES PARENTING COORDINATION/PARENTING COORDINATION-DECISION MAKING (PC-DM) COST?
The standard fee for the first two-hours of parenting coordination and parenting coordination-decision making services is $90 per hour, billed at a rate of $45 per hour per party for each appointment to be paid prior to the beginning of the appointment.
Each hour of services thereafter, including interviews, research, meetings with parents and the child(ren), will also be billed at the rate of $90 per hour ($45 per parent per hour).
Fees are billed and due for payment on a “pay as you go” weekly basis beyond the initial 2-hour deposit. Accordingly, there is no large retainer due or deposit required to start the parenting coordination process.
A Sliding Scale Fee Arrangement is always offered in cases involving children under which each party may, based upon financial need, arrange to pay less than the standard fee per hour for parenting coordination or PC-DM services.