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: Couples interested in divorce mediation services usually reach out to me in 1 of 2 ways. I can be reached by:
Phone: Feel free to call me to schedule your consultation at (314) 272-0727
Schedule Online: You can schedule an in-person or phone consultation with me anytime by visiting my online calendar. You can do so by clicking here or the button below.
Initial Consultation: This is the initial meeting where everyone will meet with me to discuss the divorce mediation process in detail. Within our consultation, I will also cover the three other divorce options which include:
Uncontested divorce or kitchen table divorce
Traditional divorce or litigated divorce
When you and your spouse decide you would like to proceed with divorce mediation you will then sign a written "Agreement to Mediate" at your first joint session. This document memorializes the start of the divorce mediation process. This document defines the mediation process, the role of the mediator, expectations of all participants, the cost of the process and how it is shared between you and your spouse.
Gather Information: Before you and your spouse make any divorce settlement agreements in mediaiton, you must fully understand what you own, what you owe, what is the value of each piece of property, what portion is separate property and what portion is marital.
Once you and your spouse decide to move forward with the divorce mediation process, and we’ve scheduled your first joint mediation session, I will send you and your spouse all the information needed to begin gathering this information in an organized and structured way. Feedback from our clients has been that our process provides clearity in an otherwise chaotic situation. I pride myself on the ability to make this process as simple as possible.
You will provided with electronic worksheets that you and your spouse will work to complete prior to our first joint mediaton session. You both will receive access to an online document portal where you can save all electronic documents and you will bring paper documents (e.g. vehicle titles, copies of the deed to any real estate, ect) to your first mediation session. For any documents that we cannot keep, we will make a copy of it and return the original at our next session.
My mission is to make sure that we can get to work on understanding your financial information and addressing any immediate concerns in our very first session - this isn’t the case with all divorce mediators and our clients love us for this.
Mediation Sessions: Once all of the necessary information has been gathered we work in the mediation sessions to:
Determine each person’s goals and interests
Understand that information
Craft divorce settlement options that attempt to meet each person’s goals and interests before making agreements related to:
Financially providing for your or children
My role as the mediator is to facilitate the conversation and help you and your spouse generate options, communicate effectively through the process, and help you move toward mutually acceptable agreements. Most mediation sessions last 1.5 to 2 hours each - this really depends on your needs. In my experience, work in sessions beyond 2 hours is not as productive as keeping it a 2 hour session.
In our mediation sessions we will address issues of parenting time, decision making authority, holiday time, vacation time, child support, determine the marital assets and separate assets, division of the marital estate, marital home, alimony / maintenance, and the value of a business.
The total number of mediation sessions depends on:
Your unique situation
The number of issues to be discussed
The complexity of the things being decided
The readiness of each spouse
We generally discuss the timeline at the beginning of the process - when we are setting goals and expectations for the process.
Drafting the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU): Once all agreements have been made, I will memorialize those agreements in writing via a Memorandum of Understanding. I will also draft your Income and Expense Statements and Statements of Property. If you are divorcing with minor children, then I will also draft your Parenting Plan Part A and Parenting Plan Part B. I will provide these documents to you and your spouse to review. You and your spouse will then provide me with your feedback, questions or final approval. I will then issue your final documents that you can then take to a family law attorney of your choosing to complete the divorce process and finalize your divorce agreements.
Finalizing Settlement Documents: Once you or your spouse take the mediation documents to the attorney of your choosing, the family law attorney will use the Memorandum of Understanding to draft your Marital Separation Agreement and Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) (if applicable). The attorney will then walk your documents through the appropriate process (this depends on your county). He or she will facilitate the process of obtaining the judge’s final review and signature for your divorce. Once the judge signs your Marital Separation Agreement your agreements are then final and binding. The same is true for your parenting plan. If you and your spouse later decide you need to change your parenting plan, then you can come back into mediation to discuss and make those changes.