How We Work Together
Divorce Mediation is inherently collaborative. At Your Terms Mediation, we bring together two people who are involved in an intense, emotional and painful process and we ask them to talk to each other. This is no small task. We view success as one small agreement at a time, with no big expectations. In order for Divorce Mediation to work, it has to be a process that’s collaborative.
Sometimes, our collaboration extends to our work with the attorneys representing their clients. We are not afraid of outside counsel – we encourage it. Divorce is a legal process, and agreements must be filed with the court in order to be made legal. Because of this, we want all of our clients to seek the advice and counsel of an attorney, but it is not required. We also welcome attorneys into the process. In addition to attorneys, we work closely with business valuation experts, accountants, financial planners, and others, to make sure all aspects of the divorce and the welfare of the parties can be addressed.
THE STEPS TO REACHING AN AGREEMENT
Your Terms Mediation is committed to providing an alternative to expensive, court-focused divorce. We will not ask for a retainer, there are no minimum engagements, and we will not place you in a cookie cutter, one-size-fits-all process. You work at your pace, on your terms, to resolve one or many issues of your dispute. Our goal is to help you arrive at a permanent resolution that will be honored far into the future, without regret or remorse.
Our mediations are most effective when there exists a mutual respect between the parties, and a willingness to resolve differences without relying on a third party to pass judgement in favor of one or the other. The process is guided by an experienced mediator, whose role is to provide a forum for the parties to discuss their dispute, not to determine who is right or wrong. As guides in the process, our mediators may help you organize your sessions, and will provide systems to test potential agreements and then record them. However, a mediator will not direct you to a solution they favor.
Once an agreement, or agreements, have been reached, our mediators will draft a Memorandum of Understanding. When signed by both parties, this can be legally binding. Your Terms Mediation recommends that each party seek legal representation before committing to a final legal resolution to their dispute, and we can refer you to many attorneys who support mediation to provide legal guidance. If you already have your own attorney, we welcome the opportunity to work with them, or include them in your process, if you wish.
Generally, our mediation sessions last from one to two hours, and our billing is in half-hour increments. If your mediator needs to spend time outside of a formal session preparing a Memorandum, or to provide additional services, such as Child Support and Alimony Calculations, Pension Valuations, Qualified Domestic Relations Orders, or other services, you will know in advance, and the charged time will be disclosed to you. The purpose of limiting out-of-session work for our mediators is to ensure that the parties are focused on resolving their dispute together.