Why Choose Mediation?

The Goals of Mediation are:

1. to reach a mutually acceptable agreement;
2. to be part of forming that agreement so that your concerns are addressed;
3. to help your children cope with and adjust to the major changes brought about by the separation;
4. to reach a point where there is some level of mutual respect, which allows you and your spouse to maintain a civil relationship in the future;
5. to avoid spending a third (or more) of the marital assets on a divorce; and
6. to avoid spending years at the Courthouse.

Comparing Mediation to Litigation

Assess suitability of marital partners to mediation
Locate a compatible mediator
Attend meetings to discuss issues and assets
Draft Proposed Agreement, which partners take to respective consulting attorneys
Attend meetings to finalize and sign Marital Settlement Agreement
Prepare divorce pleadings and submit documents to Court

The number of meetings required will depend upon:

The number and size of assets;
The responsiveness, motivation, and willingness of parties to obtain documents, attend meetings, and compromise;
The responsiveness of experts (i.e. CPA’s, appraisers, QDRO attorneys, and consultants)

File Dissolution Petition, causing Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders (ATRO’s) to go into effect for Petitioner
Serve Petition, causing clock to start on the 6 months required before divorce could be final. ATRO’s effective for Respondent
File and serve Response
Attend Case Management Conferences
Prepare and serve Preliminary Declaration of Disclosures
Prepare Pre-trial Motions and attend hearings
Conduct Discovery:
– Interrogatories (written questions)
– Depositions of parties and/or witnesses
– Document demands
– Requests for admissions
– Subpoenas to third parties, banks, employers, businesses, credit cards companies, etc.
– Determine custody and visitation
– Attend Emergency Custody Screening
– Mediation for custody or visitation at Family

Court Services
– Evaluations and assessments
– Judicial Custody Conference
– Prepare Final Declaration of Disclosure
– Attend Settlement Conference
– Prepare for Trial
– Trial
– Judgment
– Post-Trial Motions
– Appeals (if any)