HOW MUCH DOES MEDIATION COST?
Intermountain Mediation Center helps lessen legal expenses. Our services are billed starting at $150.00 per hour. Usually, unless negotiated by the parties the hourly rate is divided equally by the parties. Your fees for the mediation time must be paid in full before at the completion of the mediation. Compared to litigation, medation expenses are vastly lower to traditional litigation costs.
IS MEDIATION CONFIDENTIAL?
Mediation is a private, confidential process, not open to public scrutiny. You will be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement before beginning the mediation process. All parties, including the Mediator, are required to keep confidentiality about the issues discussed in the mediation process.
WILL I NEED AN ATTORNEY TO USE MEDIATION?
The process of mediation is not the practice of law. Mediation’s purpose is to assist the parties in resolving disputes and move beyong conflict. It is up to you whether you feel an attorney is necessary. Although you do not have to, you may wish to have an attorney review the final mediation agreement and prepare your final paperwork to be filed with the court.
WILL I HAVE TO GO TO COURT IF I USE MEDIATION?
IN some mediations, such as divorce, you will be required to file final papers in court. If during mediation you reach a mutually agreeable resolution of property, financial, custody, parenting, and other issues the court will likely accept your settlement and you will not have to make any court appearances. As a general rule, the more you do outside of the court, the better.
WHAT IS DIVORCE MEDIATION?
Mediation is cooperative problem solving with the assistance of a neutral trained professional, who freed from the role of acting as attorney for either party, can help you see through the emotional element of divorce, and often envision options never considered prior to mediation. Without “lawyering up” attitudes clouding the true concerns of the parties, the Mediator provides each party the opportunity to be heard on various issues. Then focusing on the real concerns of each unique situation, the mediator helps the parties explore various approaches to a resolution.
It is possible to come to an agreement that balances the interests of every party involved while avoiding unnecessary compromise to avoid the high cost of litigation. The process takes place in a private setting with the mediator, and once a resolution has been reached on all the divorce issues, then the paperwork is prepared for submission by either the attorneys for the parties or the mediator and given to the court for the dissolution of the marriage.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE COMPARED TO A REGULAR DIVORCE?
In a regular divorce, attorneys are hired on both sides, usually with a large retainer to start. The divorce process takes place over many months or even years, often with numerous motions, depositions, competing experts, and multiple hearings, often ending in a trial. The cost in time, money, and stress may be enormous because it can become a long, time-consuming, and expensive proposition. Additionally, parties often live in limbo for the entire process, uncertain of the final outcome. In divorce mediation, one mediator is hired for both spouses. The process involves minimal time commitment and quick resolution, with most resolutions reached within 30-90 days.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF MEDIATION?
•There are many advantages to divorce mediation.
•Controls costs, both emotionally and financially.
•If a divorce, benefits the children by reducing conflict between parents.
•Enables parties to emerge with self-respect.
•Focuses on the present and the future – not the past.
•Confidential process the parties control rather than attorneys and judges.
•Parties more satisfied with outcome.
•Customized agreements for your unique situation.
•High rate of compliance.
•Greater degree of control over outcome.
•Workable and implementable plans.
WHAT IF WE DON’T WORK IT OUT?
The mediation process may not resolve every case. If a complete resolution is not reached, you are both free to hire attorneys (if they are not hired all ready) and proceed under the traditional litigated approach with lawyers in a courtroom. Additionally, the mediation process is confidential and nothing said during the mediation can ever be used against you in court or by an opposing attorney.
Also, even if a complete agreement is not reached, even partial agreements can narrow the issues that need to be litigated, further reducing the time and expense of resolving those issues. HOWEVER, understand that if you choose the litigated approach, you will most likely be ordered back to mediation at least one more time before seeing a judge.
ARE THERE CASES NOT APPROPIATE FOR MEDIATION?
Situations involving ongoing domestic violence, child abuse, mental illness, abuse of drugs or alcohol, or an extrememly unreasonable party may make mediation not the best choice. If you are in one of these unfortunate situations, you should consult with an attorney to determine the best handling your case.
However, conflict in situations is natural and normal. Strong feelings and emotions alone should not deter you from considering mediation. Even if the parties are not speaking, your trained mediator is experienced in working in such a setting and can craft a mediation process that allows emotional elements to be addressed respectfully without creating roadblocks to resolution.
I ALREADY FILED MY COURT CASE. CAN WE STILL MEDIATE?
YES. Mediation can occur at any stage in the process and even if the case was filed by you or an attorney, almost all cases are sent to mediation by the court before you can ever see a judge. We believe earlier is better and the most cost effective way to handle cases. However, we have mediated cases after judges enter orders that neither side are happy with as well as years later as circumstances of life have changed.
WHAT IF I DON’T LIKE THE MEDIATION PROCESS?
You are always free to withdraw from the mediation at any time. It is purely a voluntary process and entering mediation doesn’t imply a promise to reach a resolution. However, you can always “try” mediation and then opt for attorney litigation if you choose. The contrary is not necessarily true.
Learn more about how you may benefit from mediation by contacting Intermountain Mediation Center today and move beyond your conflict!