If divorce is like a trip through a jungle, the mediator is your guide who’s traveled through the same territory hundreds or thousands of times. Each trip is similar to the others, but different because the jungle is never the same. Once the couple commits to taking the trip, the guide’s job is to get them to the other side by avoiding the specific dangers about which they’re particularly concerned.
The process begins with a free Introduction to Mediation at which I describe how mediation works and my particular “Theory of Practice.” That presentation requires about thirty minutes. Then you can ask all the questions you have about the process; we’ll continue until you’ve run out of questions and I’ve been able to provide useful answers to the ones you’ve asked. There is no limit to the duration of this meeting.
I strongly recommend that all couples interview at least two and preferably three or more potential mediators. Each should describe his or her “Theory of Practice,” which is a name for “this is how I go about this work.” Your selection should be based on the fit between each of you, the mediator and the Theory of Practice, which is the most important consideration.
Beware of free Introductions, Evaluations, and Initial Consultation from anyone in business. Unless the client is paying for it, these free services are provided to generate income generating work.
I offer the free Introduction to Mediation for two reasons: (1) I like talking about what I do and how I do it. (2) To attract business to my practice, including yours. While any practice requires clients or patients, my clients need to understand in advance and generally accept the way I work or we will all be wasting time.
You will receive a copy of my usual four-page Mediation Agreement, and we will talk about its content. You will take it with you unsigned, because the Agreement is never signed during the Introduction. If you would like to work with me, you re-initiate contact by calling for a first appointment.
As a matter of policy I ask that you call me; I won’t call you. Since you know all of this in advance, you won’t be on guard for the squeeze or for a bait and switch. This should help you keep an open-mind toward the material that’s new to you
The Introduction is free.
Once the mediation agreement is signed and the work begins, the hourly rate is $360. This is not as bad as it sounds. The way fees are earned and charged in mediation is different from how it works in typical family law practice.