November 22, 2011

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 for mediation 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)