Georgia Daniels, J.D., Mediator in Pasadena
What Does a Divorce Mediation Look Like?
In divorce mediation, you and your spouse can create a soft landing to end your marriage withdignity; to reach an agreement that provides a parenting plan if there are minor children, that addresses child support and spousal support (if needed), that divides assets and debts, or modifies existing orders. Divorce mediation is confidential and voluntary.
In divorce mediation, you have the power to decide what will work for you, for your unique family situation. My job as your mediator is to help you and your spouse have the problem-solving conversations needed to bring about the soft landing. You, the parties, are the most important component. I will explain the process so that you can freely navigate through the changes and decisions that you need to make. Sometimes, one party comes in with fully formed proposals; at other times, neither party has a clue yet about how they want to proceed. I am a "guide on the side" and not "a decider" who forces decisions to go one way or another.
Mediation sessions unfold in a safe space with time to ask questions, give or receive information, and make, receive, and respond to proposals. Frequently, the first meditation session starts with half-hour private sessions with the mediator, and then moves on to a joint session. The purpose of private sessions is to convey your perspective to the mediator and to establish trust and communication with the mediator. The purpose of the first joint session is to develop some baseline information, to build trust in the process, and to provide more information about how to gather and present the data that you will need for making your decisions. Although the private sessions are optional, they often have the counterintuitive result of reducing the total number of sessions required.
Most divorce mediations have three to six sessions of about 2 to 2.5 hours each. Some situations may require additional sessions. The mediator prepares short session summaries after the sessions, interim agreements (if any), and prepares a comprehensive written agreement when all major decisions have been discussed and tentative agreements made. At this point, many clients choose to take their proposed agreements to independent legal counsel for review. I gladly refer my clients to consulting attorneys who support mediation of family issues.
Mediation costs less in dollars, in stress, and in work-time lost to attend to divorce matters. My fees are reasonable, especially when compared to divorces that are dominated by litigation-minded attorneys. I strive for full transparency regarding fees at each stage of the process. A current fee list is posted to my blog, offering both hourly rates and discounts for prepaid fees: Mediation Journal at georgiadaniels.blogspot.com.
Evening and Saturday appointments provide flexible scheduling to minimize the impact on your work life and family life. Daytime appointments are also available. Your questions are important; please feel free to contact me by phone or email: (626) 441-1900 or Info@GeorgiaDaniels.com.