What are the Cost and Timing?

. . . and Other Frequently Asked Questions

 TIMING

How long does mediation take?

Each mediation session is scheduled for 2 hours, and total time required for a divorce averages 4-6 sessions. Some people take less time (many of our clients only need 1-3 sessions), and some take more (7+), depending on the number and complexity of the issues and the level of conflict.

How long will it take for our divorce to be final?

By law, it takes a minimum of six months to finalize a divorce. Other than the six month waiting period, the timing is up to the parties, and this is something we will discuss in our first session.

What if we already agree on lots of issues?

Any agreements previously reached will expedite the mediation, thereby saving time and reducing the cost.

Are there times when it’s not appropriate to mediate?

In mediation, each person must be willing and able to participate fully and make full disclosure of all financial matters. If one spouse fears or is intimidated by the other, or if either spouse is unwilling to participate in good faith, then mediation is not appropriate.

COST

How much does mediation cost?

Ms. Barker’s fee for basic/standard divorce mediation is $550 per hour. Clients have the option of prepaying 10 hours, in which case the fee is reduced to $500 per hour. The rates at our Petaluma office is $50 less per hour. Contact us to discuss fees for complex cases.

A reduced fee may be requested where a higher fee is not economically viable. Every effort will be made to insure that couples are not obligated to use another mediator due solely to budgetary concerns.

Can we pay by credit card?

Yes. We accept Mastercard and Visa.

OTHER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Are we required to have lawyers? Can we have lawyers if we feel the need?

While parties are not required to consult an attorney, they are strongly encouraged to do so. Parties are advised to meet with an attorney if they have any questions about their legal rights or responsibilities, and to have the final agreement reviewed by an independent lawyer prior to signing. Attorneys generally do not attend the mediation sessions.

What if there are difficult emotional issues?

Strong feelings are a normal part of divorce. If emotional issues are impeding the parties’ ability to work together cooperatively, co-mediation with both an attorney-mediator and therapist-mediator may be a good solution.   In addition, if the parties are interested in healing and personal growth, we may recommend individual Conflict TransformationTM (CT) sessions either prior to or parallel to doing mediation. Click here for more information.

Is mediation confidential?

Yes. Mediation is private and confidential. Information disclosed in mediation is held in strict confidence by the mediator.

GETTING STARTED

What do we need to do to prepare?

It is not necessary to do any formal preparation. However, to make the most of your time during your mediation sessions, it is helpful to come with basic information in mind regarding your assets, liabilities, income, expenses and goals.

What happens at the first session?

At the first session, we will review the mediation agreement and establish any ground rules needed to make the process fair and effective for everyone.  Together we will develop an agenda of the issues that need to be addressed in mediation. We will create a mediation plan, including a plan for gathering necessary information and documents and, if the parties are ready, we will begin working through the issues.

How do we begin?

Call us at 415-492-9011 or email ebarker@BarkerDivorceMediation.com to schedule  a free initial consultation or to set up your first mediation session.

Eileen was diplomatic, fair and compassionate. She kept the sessions on track and focused
without letting twenty years of communication problems derail the process.

Anne F.