The Step By Step Mediation Process
Most clients we work with are not familiar with how the mediation process works. While the general concept of using a neutral third party to help resolve conflicts is usually understood, the actual process is a bit of a mystery. Listed below is a step by step process to family law mediation with [nap_names id=”FIRM-NAME-1″]:
Each party completes the mediation intake form and schedules a consultation.
Each party has an initial meeting with the mediator, either in person or via Zoom. The mediator will explain all ground rules and the legal framework within which the mediation will take place, review the Initial Intake Forms as well as separate forms detailing assets and liabilities and monthly income and expenses. They will discuss generally the main issues in dispute, note any issues as to which there is apparent agreement, and identify any issues that may require the involvement of experts. Upon request, the mediator will meet privately with either or both parties. Both parties will then sign the Agreement to Mediate.
The mediator will review all aspects of the case and estimate the number of hours that will be required to mediate all issues and draft a formal Agreement setting forth all agreed terms. An Advance Fee Agreement for the mediation is then prepared and sent to both parties for their review and approval. If both parties approve, they sign the Advance Fee Agreement and make payment of the required initial advance fee.
Mediation sessions are then scheduled to resolve all material and substantive issues in dispute. Once the parties resolve all issues, the mediator will prepare a formal Agreement setting forth all terms.
Both parties sign the formal Agreement. Any unearned advance fees will be returned to the parties as per the Advance Fee Agreement. This concludes the representation. However, if both parties desire to secure a court order that incorporates the Agreement, they can request our assistance under certain conditions.