Mediation is a better way to guide couples through the difficult challenges that surround separation and divorce. Mediation diffuses conflict and promotes communication. Mediation does not just avoid the hostilities that litigation can create, it preserves important assets that litigation can consume. The mediator remains neutral and helps you and your partner create an agreement that works for the both of you.
The mediation process involves a series of meetings that help determine objectives and develop an outline of what you and your partner want the agreement to be. These meetings usually run between 90 minutes and 2 hours. The key to mediation is that both parties are willing to be transparent. The agreement created is called the Memorandum of Understanding which is not intended to be a legally binding document. The intent is to incorporate the decisions described in the Memorandum of Understanding into a settlement agreement which will be prepared by a lawyer.
Mercier Mediation’s process:
STEP 1. The initial meeting is one hour. We will meet with each of you separately to review the intake form (which you will complete before this meeting) and get an understanding of what topics we will be focusing on if we all agree mediation is the correct process.
STEP 2. At the following meeting, all parties are present. These meetings are usually 2 hours in length but can be shorter if the clients need time to digest the information. What is discussed at the meetings is decided by the parties. Each family is unique, so the key issues for each are different. These meetings are generally very productive, and the number of meetings depends on the cooperation of the clients, as well as the complexities of the file.
STEP 3. Take the Memorandum of Understanding Agreement to your lawyers and review the document with them. In most cases, one of the lawyers creates the Settlement Agreement and both parties must sign it.