While the divorce mediation process will vary somewhat from couple to couple, you and your spouse will go through the following basic steps:
Questions and Answers
Before you begin the formal divorce mediation process, you and your spouse can meet informally with me so that I can describe the divorce mediation process, answer your questions, and give both of you the opportunity to meet me in person. Divorce is a very personal event, and you want a divorce mediator with whom you feel comfortable. There is no charge for this initial one-hour session.
We begin the session by gathering background information and signing an Agreement to Mediate. I will give you some helpful handouts along with forms that you will need to complete on your own time. Then, because virtually all of my clients choose to represent themselves (go “pro se”) rather than hire separate attorneys, we prepare the divorce papers necessary to commence the formal legal process, and I will explain to you how to file these papers with the Court. Finally, we will discuss the major issues that will need to be resolved in the sessions ahead.
Parenting Your Child Together
I begin this session, and every subsequent session, by asking each of you if you have any questions, comments or concerns that you would like to discuss. We address these matters first.
Most couples then like to begin discussing the parenting plan, which used to be called "custody." They start with this issue for two reasons: first of all, the parenting plan significantly impacts most of the other major divorce issues such as child support, spousal support, and asset allocation. Secondly, once parents are able to reach an agreement on the parenting plan, they usually are much better prepared to resolve all the remaining divorce issues. During this session, we will consider a wide variety of possible parenting arrangements so that you and your spouse can create a parenting plan that best meets the needs of the entire family.
I end this session, and every subsequent session, by summarizing what we have discussed, what information each of you may need to bring to the next session, and what we will address at that next session.