Frequently Asked Questions
What exactly is mediation?
Mediation is a process in which two persons agree to resort to a neutral third party and, through that party, try to resolve their problems. Mediation is not the same as both persons being represented by the same lawyer. No lawyer should ethically represent both spouses in a divorce.
How do I choose a mediator?
Unfortunately, anyone can take out a "mediation" listing in the Yellow Pages or hang out a "mediator" sign. A skilled mediator is typically a skilled divorce lawyer who, through experience, has a good idea of what a judge might order in your case. Only someone with a good working knowledge of what happens in a divorce case and in the courts can help two people fairly mediate their differences.
What are the advantages of mediation?
The point of mediation should not be to reach an agreement, whether fair or unfair. Instead, mediation should endeavor to work justice, i.e., to closely approximate the result the court would order, without the acrimony and delay and, presumably, at less expense. Additionally, by resolving issues out of court, mediation provides a level of privacy that can be a significant benefit, especially for high net worth individuals.
How do I know if mediation will work for my case?
If you and your spouse are both mature and intelligent people then mediation can be a good avenue to consider. However, there are several reasons where mediation will not work: If either of you is out for revenge, mediation will not work. If either of you is significantly better educated or more financially sophisticated than the other, mediation will not work. If either of you wants to "win," mediation will not work. If either of you is dishonest or unwilling to make a complete disclosure of financial matters, mediation is not a good choice.