The Divorce & Mediation Process
This page provides a brief overview of how mediation works at our office. We hope you find this information helpful and informative.
Related Topic: Divorce Mediation Services
- Initial Contact: Interested mediation clients can reach us by phone (314) 272-0727, email us or schedule a consultation with us. We will schedule an initial consultation for all parties to come to our office, meet by phone, or virtually - whichever is most convenient.
Initial Consultation: This is the initial meeting where everyone will meet with Nicole Davis to discuss the divorce mediation process in detail. The three other divorce options of collaborative divorce, traditional divorce, and uncontested divorce will be covered as well. Likewise, if the spouses believe that they could benefit from the help of an attorney mediator or therapist mediator then Divorce Co-Mediation will be discussed as a divorce option as well. When spouses decide they would like to proceed with mediation they will sign a written "Agreement to Mediate" before moving to the next step.
- Gather Information: Before mediation clients can make any settlement decisions in their divorce, they must fully understand the marital estate. This includes the value of the marital property and debts. Mrs. Davis will provide both spouses with access to a secure client portal where everyone can share information with each other. She will provide a detailed list of information to be gathered, as well as templates and financial statements that will need to be completed. All of the information will need to be gathered prior to the first financial mediation session. This can take some time to complete, especially when a home or business appraisal is needed. All information will be uploaded to a secure client portal where Mrs. Davis and both spouses can review all information - full transparency is essential to divorce mediation success. All of the information is needed to craft a mutually agreeable, durable financial settlement.
Mediation Sessions: Once all of the necessary information has been gathered, the spouses work in mediation sessions. Mrs. Davis will facilitate the conversation and agreements between the spouses. These sessions may include brainstorming of options and if a roadblock is encountered then Mrs. Davis will help the spouses break through it. Most mediation sessions last 1.5 to 2 hours each - this really depends on the needs of each person. Mediation sessions will address issues of parenting time, decision making authority, holiday time, vacation time, child support, dividing the marital estate, marital home, alimony / maintenance, and value of a business. The total number of mediation sessions depends on the spouses, issues, and complexity of the things being decided. Some divorces take one or two mediation sessions; however, many will take at least three to craft agreements on all issues.
Drafting the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU): Once all agreements have been made, Mrs. Davis will put those agreements in writing via a Memorandum of Understanding. Mrs. Davis and the spouses will meet one last time to review the Memorandum of Understand. If changes are needed then they will be made and the Memorandum of Understanding will be completed.
Finalizing Settlement Documents: Once spouse will take the Memorandum of Understanding to their attorney of choice. The divorce attorney will use the Memorandum of Understanding to draft the divorce and Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) documents. The attorney will then take the documents before the judge to have him / her sign off to finalize the divorce.