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How Does Mediation Work and How Much Will it Cost?


Rachel Fishman Green, Esq.
ReSolutions, Mediation and Legal Services

How Does Mediation Work?

First, you and your spouse come in to mediation together. We have a detailed checklist that we go through, to make sure we address all of the issues necessary for your complete legal settlement.

Second, if you both want us to, we can draft the terms of your agreement, which have been discussed, into a legal settlement agreement. This is a binding contract, that will be filed with the divorce papers in court.

Some people work with advisory attorneys, and prefer that their attorneys draft the contract. If so, then your mediator will write up a summary of your agreement, called a Memorandum of Understanding.

Third, in New York, the courts have a set of uncontested divorce papers that have to be filled out and filed with the courts, in order for you to divorce. If you both want us to do so, then we can fill out and file those papers for you both, in order to effectuate your divorce.

How Can We Reach Agreement In Mediation?

I begin work with people by identifying all of the unresolved issues. We have a detailed checklist that we go through to identify where there is already agreement, and where we need additional information and/or discussion. Each person gets to tell me his/her side of the story, so that I can hear as much as possible about what each of you needs to move forward with your life. I give each person a pad of paper and a pen so that the other person can write down their ideas without having to interrupt the speaker.

Once all the issues are on the table, we can begin to delve deeper into different points to gain an increased understanding. When that understanding is there, problem solving begins.

Conflict is painful. Most people have a drive to resolve it. When people understand the sources of conflict, there is a huge release of creative energy which leads to terrific brainstorming sessions about how to solve the problem and end the conflict.

How Much Does Mediation Cost?

The costs of an average mediated divorce range from approximately $2,500 to $7,000.I know that is a big range, but there are a lot of variables. For example:
  • Can you and your ex talk without a third person present? Some people come in only able to talk in the presence of a mediator. These people need the mediator, but will require more mediation sessions.
  • Do you have young children? If so, there are many issues to be discussed and resolved, before you have a legal settlement.
  • Do you have complex finances? A lot of assets and/or debts? A house? A business? If you say yes to any of these things, the issue that you discuss will be a bit more complicated.
After all the issues are resolved, you will need to have the court's uncontested divorce papers prepared and filed with the court for your divorce; so the costs for your mediated divorce fall into 4 categories:
  1. Mediation sessions - billed by the hour
  2. Costs of drafting a settlement agreement
  3. The court's costs of filing for divorce
  4. Preparation and filing of divorce papers

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rachel Fishman Green, Esq. is a divorce mediator and attorney, and the director of ReSolutions in Park Slope, Brooklyn. She began her practice as a divorce and family mediator in 1995. She graduated cum laude from Boston University School of Law in 1990. Rachel is a certified mediator by "Safe Horizon's" Brooklyn Mediation Center, and a certified Arbitrator of Matrimonial Fee Disputes for the Second Judicial District serving Kings County. Ms. Rachel Green has helped thousands of divorcing and separating couples resolve conflicts concerning all aspects of divorce, including division of homes, time with the children, dividing small businesses, fair distribution of pension assets, child support, division of health and child care expenses for children, tax aspects of divorce, how to bring new girlfriends/boyfriends into children's lives.

Call her at 718-965-9236 or
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