Professional Mediation and Conflict Resolution Services

EAGLE RIVER MEDIATION

 

Boise Mediation services.| Boise Conflict Resolution Services | Boise Dispute Resolution Services | Boise Conflict Coaching Services | Preparing for Mediation

"Don’t find fault. Find a remedy." – Henry Ford

PREPARING FOR mediation

Who Should Consider Mediation?

The mediation process is best for people who prefer to settle a situation without going to court and are able to commit to a good faith effort to do so. Mediation is very effective for parties who are required to maintain a working relationship or co-parenting relationship. Mediation allows the parties to maintain control over their decision-making which leads to a more productive and amiable future relationship.


How Does Mediation Work?

Mediation is usually conducted in several sessions. During your first session your mediator will explain to you the mediation and lay out any ground rules. This ensures all parties involved have a clear understanding of the process and know what to expect from the mediation process. Your mediator will answer any questions you have about the process during this time. The mediation sessions are generally conducted with all parties; however, on occasion separate sessions may be the parties will be conducted. With the guidance of the mediator, parties identify the issues which have brought them to mediation and outline an agenda for the issues they wish to resolve. The mediator oversees the discussion to allow each party a full opportunity to be heard in an atmosphere of cooperation and respect. The parties are encouraged to generate solutions with both parties' interests in mind and with the children’s best interest in mind, when children are involved in the situation. Through the process the mediator will help the parties clarify the issues and identify options for agreement. The agreements reached in mediation are drafted in a “memorandum of understanding,” by the mediator. The parties will have a chance to review the memorandum so that it accurately reflects their agreements. It is not uncommon to renegotiate certain provisions in subsequent meetings. The mediation comes to a close when the parties individually agree on all stipulations, sign the agreement, and, if necessary, submit it to the court.  If you are seeking divorce mediation your mediator will provide you with all the information to go through this process. In the mediation sessions you will discuss and come to agreements on, but not limited to, the issues of child custody, assets and debts, child support, parenting schedule, tax issues and education. Divorce mediation is not limited to these issues; your mediator will cover this in depth with you during your first session. 


Is mediation confidential?

Yes. Mediation is a confidential process, not open to the public. You will be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement before beginning mediation. The mediator is bound by law to keep confidential what is discussed in mediation except as explained to you by the mediator. 


Is a mediated agreement binding?

If you are involved in a divorce or other family issue that is filed in court, any agreement you reach may be filed with the court. The court reviews the agreement to assure that it conforms to the standards that have been established, such as the child support guidelines etc. Your mediator will
explain this portion of the process in more detail. If your dispute is not filed in court, the agreement is considered to be a contract. Depending on the nature of the agreement and the dispute, if there is a breach of the contract you will be able to file a claim with the court.


If I use mediation, will I need to go to court?

If you are using mediation in order to obtain divorce, you will have to file in court for your divorce. However, if you are able to reach a mutually agreeable resolution to all of the property, custody, parenting, and other issues that you are attempting to resolve, and the court accepts your settlement, it is unlikely that you will have any court appearances. Generally, the more you do outside of the court to decide how you want to handle your divorce, the better.


Will I need a lawyer in order to use mediation?

This varies widely and depends on what is most advantageous to each party and circumstance. Some parties choose to consult with his/her attorney prior to or immediately following each mediation session and other parties choose not to consult with an attorney until they are ready to file documents with the court. Due to the high costs of retaining attorneys, some disputing parties choose to all of or the majority of the work in mediation and then if need be will consult with legal counsel before signing a settlement agreement. Your mediator will provide you with a list of recommended attorney’s. In divorce cases your mediator will recommend that you work with an attorney to file the final documents with the court. However, by using mediation, it is likely that you will use very few legal services and that those you use will be different than if you did not use mediation. Your mediator will draft and prepare the main separation agreement to be filed in conjunction with documents prepared by your lawyer. Your lawyer will provide you with guidance and legal counsel as needed. Even when the mediator is a lawyer, the mediator is not acting as the lawyer and cannot represent either person in the divorce.


When Is The Best Time To Begin Mediation?

The best time to begin mediation is immediately, before the parties incur the expense of legal litigation. Even if legal counsel has been retained, it is not too late. Most legal professionals and courts advise mediation before litigation and some courts will order mediation prior to litigation. 


How long will mediation take?

Because each separation and divorce is different, and because each situation outside of divorce is different, it is hard to predict exactly how long your mediation will last. In general, a full divorce, including custody issues and division of property and assets, takes between four and eight sessions. In addition, the mediator will take time to prepare a Memorandum of Understanding, outlining all of the agreements that you have reached through the mediation process. In cases other than divorce the length of time for mediation is hard to predict prior to understanding what the issues are that need to be mediated.


How long are the sessions?

Generally, mediation sessions are scheduled to last from 1 to 3 hours depending on the couple's needs and available time. Some couples prefer longer sessions while others find that shorter sessions are more productive. You can discuss this with your mediator at the time you are scheduling your appointments.


Will we meet weekly with the mediator?

At the initial mediation session, you will identify issues that need to be discussed and agreed on. Depending on what these issues are, how urgent the decisions are, and how quickly you wish to proceed will determine the frequency of mediation sessions. Some parties are under timelines to come to a resolution with an issue as to where other parties have more flexibility. Your mediator will talk in detail with you about your preference of frequency at the end of each mediation session.


Who is present at the mediation session?

For divorce mediation you and your spouse will both be present at a divorce mediation session. When mediation is not for divorce or separation, all parties involved in the conflict will be present during the mediation session. On occasion, the mediator may wish to speak with each of you privately during the process or may wish to schedule individual sessions at the beginning of the process before meeting with you together.


What is covered in divorce mediation?

In a typical divorce mediation, the following issues must be addressed in order to generate an agreement that may be submitted with the court:

    ► Children: Parenting responsibility and time, living arrangements, legal and physical custody, insurance, education, support and many other issues.

    ► Assets and Debts: How these will be apportioned

    ► Property: Marital home, cars, other personal property

    ► Spousal support: Whether there will be spousal support, in what amount and for how long

    ► Insurance and Medical expenses

    ► Tax issues


What kind of disputes can be mediated?

Mediation is successful in resolving many kinds of disputes. These include, but are not limited to:

    ► Divorce and Separation

    ► Family Conflicts

    ► Family Business

    ► Civil Disputes

    ► Elder Care

    ► Business Negotiations

    ► Employer / Employee Disputes

    ► Sexual Harassment

    ► Estate Planning and Probate Issues

    ► Real Estate

    ► Construction

    ► Business and Workplace

    ► Community and Neighborhood

    ► Profit Organizations

    ► Personal Injury and Insurance

    ► Commercial Disputes