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Frequently Asked Questions About Mediation

We provide information to guide our clients’ decision on mediation from start to finish.

What issues can be mediated?

Mediation can be done pre-decree or post-decree including dissolution of marriage, divorce, legal separation, custody, shared parenting, child support, spousal support, property division, and modifications. The parties can enter mediation at any time regardless of whether they are in-court or out-of-court. Mediation can be used to negotiate an entire matter or limited issues such as temporary support, temporary parenting time, or parenting plans. It can also be used as a conflict resolution tool to address post-decree issues and avoid court.

How much does mediation cost?

Mediation is not one-size-fits-all. Families are unique and conflicts range in difficulty. Our mediation process is customized for our clients’ needs and situation. Mediation is usually scheduled for 2-3 hour sessions. Depending on the complexity of the issues, mediation may take 2-5 sessions to complete. The parties equally share the cost unless they agree on another arrangement. We discuss the estimated time and cost on our informational call. Mediation is an efficient, cost-effective, and less expensive alternative to other legal processes, both financially and emotionally.

Can a mediator give legal advice?

Although our mediator is a practicing family law attorney, a mediator cannot give legal advice to either party during the mediation process. However, our mediator can provide general information about the legal process, considerations, and options. Both parties have the right to consult with an attorney at any time on Ohio law and the agreements being made. We encourage our clients to obtain legal counsel in an active or consultation capacity so they can obtain any legal advice they need and file the legal documents with the court.

Can attorneys attend mediation?

Yes, so long as both parties are represented and both attorneys attend. Certain matters may benefit from their attorneys attending mediation to provide legal advice in real time as the issues are being discussed and negotiated. Mediation can also be a tool to resolve high-conflict litigation for people who desire finality and avoiding trial.

What are the risks of mediation?

Mediation is voluntary, which means either party can end mediation at any time for any reason. The mediation process requires participation, effort, and honesty of both parties, as well as flexibility and openness to compromise. Our mediator will help the parties collect and organize documents and generate options and solutions. However, the exchange of information and willingness to agree is up to the parties without formal discovery, court orders, or subpoenas that would otherwise be available through the court system.

What other information would be helpful in mediation?

We encourage our clients to consult with other professionals such as accountants, bankers, financial planners, insurance agents, mortgage brokers, and real estate agents on their areas of expertise. These professionals can provide valuable knowledge on tax consequences, selling real estate, refinancing, transferring assets, investing retirement benefits and other monies, finding insurance, and consolidating debts. These professionals can provide useful guidance and services during (and after) mediation. This information prepares the parties to make informed decisions and lasting agreements, especially if there is a knowledge gap in understanding the finances or in childrearing responsibilities.

How to start the mediation process?

Either party, or both parties together, can contact us to schedule an informational call at no charge. We will gather some intake information, discuss the process options, and provide an estimated cost.