Divorce Mediation FAQ
1. Do you offer free consultations to determine if we are a good fit for mediation?
Yes. I am happy to convene by telephone or by Zoom videoconference for a consult to discuss whether mediation is the right fit for your situation. In this consultation, I will explain the divorce mediation process and seek to understand more about your dynamics and interactions as a couple. Further, I am willing to discuss the mediation process with each member of the couple at no charge. JGK Mediation will never charge potential clients for a conversation to discuss if mediation is the right choice for them.
2. What is the typical cost of mediation?
My hourly rate is $250. In a divorce mediation where all issues are at play - custody, division of assets/liabilities, and support - the typical cost is approximately $2500-$3500 for my services. Please note, these are only estimates. Many factors, including the complexity of the issues and the participation of the clients, influence how much time is required to work through the issues. My promise to you is that I will be extremely efficient in our work together and there will be no surprise costs.
3. Do you require a retainer at the onset of mediation?
Yes. I require an $1000 retainer at the outset of the mediation process.
4. Can we knock out the mediation in one day?
No. Typically, we split the meetings along the issues. I prefer we meet for 1-2 hour sessions, each one dedicated to one issue (custody, property division, or support). Divorce mediation can be an emotionally taxing process and we all need to be focused and fresh for the discussions.
5. Do both parties have to be present for mediation?
My preference is that both parties attend if they are able. First, this reduces cost to you as it reduces the amount of time overall for the mediation process. Second, by communicating directly and through my facilitation, we will avoid misunderstandings and miscommunications. You are both in the room and hearing what the other person has to say. If joint meetings are not possible, we will still make the mediation process work. This is your process and I will tailor it to your needs.
6. Is mediation a confidential, private process?
Yes. This is one of the primary benefits of mediation over litigation. Your family finances and issues will remain private and not be the subject of public court filings (though some general financial disclosures are required prior to be publicly filed). Everything said in divorce mediation is confidential. For this reason, you can speak freely without worry that it will be used against you in court. There is no public record of what is said or what goes on during our sessions together.
7. What is the final product of our mediation process?
At the conclusion of the mediation process, I will prepare a document memorializing all of the agreements reached during our sessions. Both parties will sign this Mediation Agreement. My goal is for this document to be as specific as possible so there are no gaps or ambiguities.
At an additional cost and only upon written, informed consent of all parties, I can then represent one party and prepare and file the legal documents with the court to process the dissolution (Franklin and Delaware Counties only - for other counties I can refer you to another lawyer.)
8. Do I have to hire a lawyer to review the Mediation Agreement?
No. But you certainly can consult with a lawyer at any point during our work together.
9. Do you have attorneys that you could recommend to us to review the Mediation Agreement?
Yes. I have a network of referrals including attorneys and CPAs. I am happy to refer you as necessary.
10. Do you handle dissolutions?
Through The Law Office of Jessica G. King, LLC, I can draft and file paperwork resulting in the dissolution of your marriage. Sometimes, families have reached agreement on the majority of the terms of their divorce. In that case, I will represent one of the spouses (the other spouse may or may not hire a lawyer) to help negotiate the few remaining issues. I will then prepare and file paperwork to finalize the dissolution - again, while representing only one of the spouses. This approach is very affordable and economical. It is best suited for less complex matters.
11. During Covid, are you conducting mediations by Zoom?
Yes. All meditations are conducted by videoconference. This has actually been a real benefit to my clients as they can participate from the comfort of their home or other space. Technology allows me to share documents, meet separately with either party and be just as efficient as I am for in-person meetings.