Frequently Asked Questions About Mediation
Many people who come to mediation are coming for the first time and have questions. If you have questions that aren't answered below, please give us a call at 816-795-8890 and we will be happy to try to answer your question.
Who comes to Mediation?
Generally, only the parties attend mediation. Children do not attend mediation.
Occasionally, attorneys want to attend mediation and they are welcomed to attend, however, we need to know when the mediation apoointment is scheduled if attorneys will be attending so both parties and their attorneys are aware and everyone can be accommodated.
If a Court has appointed a Guardian ad Litem for a minor child in a pending Court proceeding, the Guardian ad Litem may choose to attend the mediation.
Generally, no one else attends mediation without the agreement of all parties and the Mediator.
How long is Mediation?
Mediation is typically scheduled for a two hour session. Some parties may choose to schedule a half day mediation session. Some matters may be resolved in one session, but other matters may take two or more sessions to resolve. How long it takes depends on how difficult and complex the issues are and how much discussion needs to take place between the parties to resolve the issues.
How much does Mediation cost?
Mediation fees are $180.00 per hour. Fees are typically split between the parties equally, unless other arrangements are made prior to mediation. Fees are charged for the time spent in mediation and for the time the Mediator spends preparing the Mediation Summary of Understanding after the mediation. Fees are due at the time of the mediation.
What are the benefits of Mediation?
Mediation is private and confidential, so issues can be discussed outside of public viewing. The only thing that comes out of mediation is a Summary of Understanding, which reflects the agreements reached by the parties.
Mediation allows each party to share their issues and concerns with the other party, and to hear the other party's issues and concerns. It provides an opportunity for each party to gain a better understanding of the other and improve communication between the parties.
All decisions reached in mediation are made by the joint agreement of both parties. Unlike a contested trial in Court, no decision is made in mediation that is not agreeable to both parties.
When parties reach agreements in mediation, they are more likely to be satisfied with the decisions they make and to live up to the agreements they reach.
When parties are able to resolve their issues in mediation, it can reduce the conflict and the uncertainty about the future and help parties move on with their lives.
Mediation can be a cost effective way to resolve a dispute. The cost of mediation can be less than a contest Court trial or an agreement negotiated between two attorneys.
Can the Mediator act as our Attorney too?
No. The Mediator is not an attorney for either party and will not give either party legal advice. Each party is encouraged to seek their own independent legal advice before mediation and in reviewing any Mediation Summary of Understanding or documents prepared by the other party's attorney.
Do we still have to go to Court if we reach an agreement in mediation?
Parties and their attorneys may need to seek Court review and approval of agreements reached in mediation. If you are seeking a divorce, or want to create a binding and enforceable parenting plan or modify one, you will need to ask the Court to review and approve the agreements you reach in mediation.
Are you interested in scheduling mediation? Call 816-795-8890 to learn more or schedule a mediation appointment.
This web site is designed for general information only. The information you receive at this web site is not intended to be legal advice, and should not be considered to be legal advice. You should consult an attorney for legal advice regarding your particular situation. You may contact us by phone or e-mail, but please understand that contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not provide us with any confidential information until we have established an attorney-client or mediator-client relationship with you.
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Copyright © 2011 by Patricia Hagenah, Attorney and Mediator. All rights reserved.
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