How Mediation Works
Mediation is often described as facilitated negotiation. I also like to describe it as guided problem-solving. A mediator is focused on the process of communication and negotiation, not on giving advice, taking sides or recommending specific solutions. Clients will have a considerable amount of involvement during discussions, and while creating any final agreements that are reached. I listen attentively while you speak and then ask a lot of questions designed to understand you and your situation better.
As a group, we will identify the issues that you would like to talk about (and resolve) in mediation, and then we will examine many possible solutions until you find ones that will work for all involved. Sometimes we will work together in the room; at other times, it may be more helpful to meet with each client separately, which is called a caucus.
Mediation discussions are confidential, except for the final agreements which are signed (like a Settlement Agreement or a Memorandum of Understanding) and the Agreement to Mediate. I will discuss your mediation situation with attorneys who are representing you, and with therapists, if you ask me to.
Divorcing clients are encouraged to have attorneys and tax advisers identified and on board, since both legal and tax advice are often needed during a divorce, and mediators cannot provide any advice to parties.
For divorcing parents, mediation gives you the opportunity to create a Separation Agreement and/or a Parenting Plan that can be adopted by the court. A court-approved Parenting Plan protects both parents and their children. Without a legally enforceable Parenting Plan, neither parent has legal rights related to parenting time and decision-making authority.
- Parenting Time is the written schedule that describes when children will spend time with each parent. Both regular, day-to-day schedules and special schedules for times like holidays and school breaks are addressed.
- Decision-Making covers the care and well-being of children. Decision-making authority can be joint or sole for a variety of major decisions, such as: medical, religious and educational issues.
- Child Support – During mediation, clients may ask for assistance with completing a Child Support Worksheet, which will eventually be reviewed by the court as part of the Parenting Plan.
Session Scheduling, Length & Location
- Mediations can be scheduled on weekdays or weekends. My preference is to schedule blocks of 2-3 hours each, but I am flexible depending on your needs. I find that both the mediator and the parties are more alert, rested and prepared to work earlier in the day, so I often seek morning and early afternoon time frames for mediation.
- I use conference rooms for mediation that are located in the Lowry and Cherry Creek North areas of Denver. I can also meet clients in a Golden location, if needed. Directions to these locations will be provided in advance of our first mediation session.
Documents to Bring With You to Mediation:
- Signed Agreement to Mediate
- For divorcing couples, it may be necessary to bring court records that are related to the parents or children, that could impact parenting issues
- Income-related documents like pay stubs, tax returns, sworn financial statements, etc.
- Personal calendars (for parents) and/or school calendars (for children, if applicable)
- Payment for mediation is required in advance of each session. Checks, cash and credit cards are accepted
Each mediation hour costs $180.00, which is usually divided 50/50 between the parties ($90 per hour, per person).
I do offer a sliding scale on a limited basis.
Business phone: 720.984.1881