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A divorce is a difficult time where the parties are often overcome with emotions, including sadness, anger, frustration, hopelessness and despair. Divorce mediation is a process where you and your spouse work together, in a cooperative manner, to develop and implement a plan that is in the best interests of both you and your children. Mediation often enables parties to overcome the raw and disabling emotions that can otherwise unnecessarily prolong the painful process of divorce. I think of mediation as a vital step in your recovery and transition to a better stage of your life.

Mediation is first and foremost, a voluntary arrangement. In mediation, you and your spouse meet with a neutral third party, experienced in resolving family disputes, to work through the issues that you need to resolve so that the two of you can minimize the cost and turmoil of ending your marriage. I have had a great deal of experience in mediating cases for satisfied clients over the last several years.

Mediation is a comprehensive process that addresses, at a minimum, the following issues:

  • Child Custody (legal and physical)
  • Parenting Time
  • Child Support
  • Alimony
  • Distribution of Property, including, most importantly, the marital home
  • Allocation of Assets including the following:
    • Real Estate
    • Bank Accounts
    • Pensions / Retirement Funds
    • Personal Property
    • Automobiles
  • Health Care Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Allocation of Debts and Liabilities
  • Taxes
  • College Educational Support

In mediation, the divorcing couple works together with the mediator to come up with an agreement that is fair and equitable under all of the circumstances, which is the guiding legal standard under the laws of the State of Connecticut.

Every case differs somewhat. Sometimes agreements are relatively easy to reach, but other times, they are more difficult and may require a more skillful or creative approach.

It is my job as the mediator to establish the general rules, to educate the parties, and to help the parties craft an agreement that best satisfies the often-times conflicting needs of both parties.

The steps of a successful mediation typically follows the general plan below:
(1) The parties meet with the mediator to discuss the overall game plan;
(2) The mediator makes sure that the parties understand and agree to the game plan;
(3) The parties identify their goals, needs and desires with the assistance of the mediator;
(4) The mediator tries to get a general understanding of the parties’ incomes, earning capacity, educational background, job skills, assets, children’s ages and needs, expenses, dates and other like information;
(5) The parties sign a fee agreement. Typically, but not always, the fee is split by the parties in some fashion;
(6) A second appointment is scheduled, at which the parties will be asked to bring detailed information and documentation to the mediator’s office;
(7) Prior to such appointment, the mediator will prepare documents called the writ, summons and complaint (typically called “the divorce papers”). One of the parties will sign the divorce papers and arrangements will be made for a marshal to serve the other party at an agreed upon time and place;
(8) Following the service of the divorce papers, they will be filed in the court with a filing fee of $350.00 paid to the State of Connecticut and the divorce will have begun;
(9) After the initiation of the action, there will be more meetings in which the parties will try to arrive at an agreement with the help of the mediator, who will draft the agreement. It usually takes more than one draft and more than one negotiation session to arrive at an agreement that is fair and equitable, and one to which both parties agree.

I and my staff will do our utmost to help you to reach such an agreement that is well thought out and comprehensive, with a minimum of time and expense.

Mediation is flexible and confidential. At all times either party is free to bow out of the process, but I have found that that rarely happens. In fact, I can only recall one time in the past ten (10) years when the parties who started the process of mediation with my office were unable to reach an agreement that resulted in a divorce judgment.

The parties are encouraged to consult with independent legal counsel of their own choosing at any point, but especially once a proposed final agreement is drafted. Many attorneys will review such agreements and advise their clients of the ramifications of an agreement for a nominal fee.

Mediation gives you and your spouse a way to settle the conflict between you in a way that enables you to work together. This is especially important when children are involved and you must interact with each other to co-parent the child during and after the divorce.

Mediation fosters communication between a divorcing husband and wife, which is a vitally important skill to be used in discussing the many issues that you must decide together as you raise your children.

As a divorce mediator, I pledge to stay neutral to increase your odds of achieving this worthy goal.

You and your children deserve that.