Family law mediation is a confidential process that allows litigating parties to meet with a certified, impartial mediator. The goal of mediation is to reach enforceable agreements on some or all outstanding issues and avoid a costly and time-consuming trial.
What are the advantages of mediation?
- Mediation is private: you do not have to testify in open court about your personal life or your finances.
- Mediation is informal: you can say things to the mediator, and show the mediator documents and other things that would not be admissible at trial.
- Mediation is controlled by the parties: you decide your fate, not a judge.
- Mediation can be creative: you can come up with an agreement that contains terms that the Judge would not be allowed to order if you went to court.
- Mediation can save you money: since the process is informal, you do not have to pay experts to testify or pay your attorney to prepare for a formal hearing before the Judge.
- Mediation can lead to better relationship and communication practices going forward – which is particularly important when children are involved.
How much does mediation cost and how do we pay?
Our office offers a menu of options for your mediation. We can mediate on multiple dates, arrange for half days or full days of mediation, or both. Our goal is to work with your schedule and offer options that lower the pressure to get everything done at once.
- Our half-day rate is $700.00 for four (4) hours of mediation, intake, document review, and follow-up services.
- Our full-day rate is $950.00 for six (6) hours of mediation, intake, document review, and follow-up services.
Payment for each session is due when your session is scheduled. If you need multiple dates, payment for each date is due when each date is reserved on the mediator’s calendar.
The mediator will request a retainer fee be paid from each party before the mediation date. This retainer reserves the mediator’s time and will be applied toward the mediator’s flat rate or hourly fee as described in the fee agreement. The balance of the mediator’s fee, if any, is usually expected at the conclusion of mediation, so bring your checkbook and be prepared to pay the mediator’s fee at the end of the day.
We accept credit cards and bank transfers via our secure Law Pay link.
Is mediation in Indiana binding?
Mediated agreements are binding upon signature. That is why it is important to include only items that both parties agree to in your mediated agreement. You can choose to agree to some terms and leave other terms for later discussion or for trial. You can also agree to things that will make trial easier, such as the value of assets, admissibility of documents, or stipulation to certain facts.
How do I know if I’m right for family law mediation?
Family law mediation is for people ready to put away their weapons, sit down together, and find common ground.
Each of you will also need to have your “homework” done for your particular matter: a list of debts and assets with values; for child support, income, daycare, and health insurance information; for other types of cases, all the facts needed to make knowledgeable decisions about your matter. It is not required but preferred for each of you to share most information so we can all start on the same page.
Make sure you and the other party are able to communicate civilly. We do not want to spend time reviewing personal arguments or discussing past grievances. This does not help resolve your matter. Be prepared for the mediator to redirect you if things get off track.
How is my attorney involved?
Our office focuses on parties who do not have attorneys. However, if you have an attorney, it is perfectly within your rights to have your attorney take part in the mediation. In fact, any attorney representing a party will need to give permission for a mediation to take place in their absence.
Remember, neither your attorney nor the mediator is in charge of the process. You and the other party will always be the ones making the final decisions, and your attorney would be there to provide legal advice.
Are there circumstances when family law mediation is not appropriate?
Yes. There are some instances when mediation is not an appropriate option. These include cases where there is family or domestic violence, mental health concerns, issues of substance abuse, or if one party becomes too fearful or emotional when speaking to the other.
In general, both parties need to be able to stand up for themselves, express their opinion, and talk face to face with the other person without any fear of retribution to use mediation effectively.
Contact Paradigm Shift Mediation
Divorce doesn’t have to be a battle.
Instead of picking up the sword, let’s sit down together and find common ground.
These discussions are not going to be easy, but they’re the best way to empower you to come to an agreement that works best for both parties – and for your children.