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Mediation FAQs If you are considering the mediation process for your divorce or child custody agreement, you probably have many questions. We will help you understand what to expect before, during and after mediation. Following are some of the most frequently asked questions about uncontested divorce and custody mediation. Q: Is mediation binding?. A: No. While the mediation settlement agreement is a legal document that cannot be changed, it is not legally binding until the final paperwork is filed with the court. Q: Do you need a lawyer for mediation?. A: No. During mediation, you will work with a neutral mediator to arrive at a mutual agreement. You do not need an attorney. However, you are free to consult with a lawyer of your choice at any point. Q: Do I have to go to court? . A: The final mediation settlement does need to be filed with the court. You can choose whether to go to court in person, or you can take advantage of our e-filing option and never step foot in a courtroom. Q: How long does mediation take?. A: Often the parties are able to resolve any disputes over aspects of divorce or child custody in one mediation session. We offer a flat fee for a full day of mediation (8 hours). Or we can break the 8 hours into half days (4 hours). If, during your initial consultation, we discuss matters that make your situation more complex, we will let you know if multiple sessions can be expected. For example, if one party owns a business or there are significant property division issues, we may need to bring in a financial consultation, which may take longer. Q: What if we settle and I change my mind?. A: If only one person changes their mind and no longer wants to move forward with the mediation agreement, the process comes to a standstill. However, if both parties agree to it, they can start the mediation process over again. If you are ready to take the first step toward a low-cost divorce or custody arrangement, call or email me today for a Free Consultation. How To Divorce Without Lawyers Going through a divorce can be a difficult, emotionally exhausting and expensive process. But, it doesn’t have to be. More and more, people are turning to uncontested divorce options and avoiding a lengthy court battle. Pro Se Divorce When two spouses represent themselves in court without lawyers it is called a pro se divorce. The Latin phrase “pro se” means “on one’s own behalf.” While the parties do not have attorneys present, it is best to achieve an agreement through mediation prior appearing in front of the judge to finalize the divorce. Without an established agreement in place, eve Our Turnkey Mediation Process When you contact You will schedule a free consultation with Cheryl Rogers. Be sure to schedule the meeting at a time when both you and your spouse or your child’s other parent can attend. You will both be participating in every step of the process. Your First Meeting (available is Zoom-safely online) We offer a calm, welcoming environment where we hope you will feel relaxed and open to the mediation process. It is important to remember that a mediator is a neutral third party who does not take sides or advocate for one person over the other. As your mediator, Cheryl's job is to advocate for a settlement that satisfies both of your goals. During your first meeting, you will have all of your mediation questions answered. You will learn about the rules of mediation, issues of confidentiality and your rights. Cheryl will also set expectations regarding communication during the process. You are free to meet with an attorney of your choice at any point in the process. If you decide that mediation is the best option for you, we will schedule a mediation session at the end of your first meeting. There is a $250 deposit at this point that will be put toward your mediation fee. You will receive a packet of documents to complete before your mediation session. If you are getting divorced, the packet will include checklists and worksheets that will help you inventory your assets and liabilities, as well as budgets for each party. For mediation of child custody issues, you will provide information regarding your children. The packet will also include a form petition that will be filed before the mediation session, which will make your agreement irrevocable. Your Mediation Session During your mediation session, we will work through all aspects of your divorce and/or custody arrangement. If there is anything you do not agree on, we will work to come to an agreement through effective communication. We have experience helping people resolve disputes over things like property division and time with their kids. Often, we are able to help clients arrive at a settlement in one mediation session. Depending on the complexity of the divorce or custody arrangement, sometimes additional sessions are needed. Ideally, you will walk out the same day with a legal mediation settlement agreement in your hands. Filing Your Settlement We are able to provide you with instructions on how to file your divorce online. We essentially offer a turnkey process in which you do not have to work with lawyers, and you never enter a courtroom. If you do not wish to file online, we provide detailed instructions for filing in court. Your Resource For Peaceful Custody Mediation Stay In Control Of The Final Outcome Child custody is one of the most frequently litigated areas of family law. When a custody case goes to court, the outcome is always unpredictable. When such an important decision is being made — one that impacts the lives of both you and your children, why leave the outcome in the hands of a judge? At Cheryl Rogers Mediation we want you to stay in control as you work with your child’s other parent to come to an agreement on issues such as parenting time/visitation, extracurricular activities and holidays. Save Money And Emotional Turmoil Divorcing or separating parents can easily spend tens of thousand dollars each if they choose to litigate over custody matters. On the other hand, many parents find that all of their issues involving their kids can be resolved through mediation, thereby eliminating the cost of hiring attorneys. And by working through your issues and arriving at a win-win situation, you will not only save money — you’ll also avoid the emotional turmoil and stress that comes with a courtroom legal battle. Most parents who participate in child custody mediation find that they are able to preserve a healthy co-parenting relationship going forward. How Custody Mediation Works In America America law prefers that parents have joint custody, but what that can mean varies from case to case. At Cheryl Rogers Mediation our mediators draw on wealth of training and experience in child custody matters to help parents weigh the pros and cons of their choices and the impact each will have on their children’s needs. An agreement between parents who know their unique situation and what their children need always results in a better resolution than they would get from lawyers and a judge who does not know them or their children at all. This applies to initial custody agreements, as well as to child custody modifications.