Divorce Mediation

Achieve an equitable settlement at a reasonable cost

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A Healthier Divorce Alternative

 

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Does any of this sound familiar?

  • You don't want a long drawn-out court battle

  • You care too much about your children to put them through an ugly divorce

  • You don't want to waste your money arguing about things that don't matter in the big picture

  • You would rather keep more of your money than pay large legal bills

Divorce mediation allows you to:

  • Have a dignified divorce, putting your family first
  • Maintain your privacy
  • Have greater control over the outcome
  • Save money on legal fees
  • Not waste time on a lengthy court process

"Leah quickly built a rapport with my ex and me. I was concerned that since she was a woman she would side with my wife but she stayed neutral throughout the sessions. You can tell she listens and tries to understand both sides. I have even sent Leah 2 or 3 other referrals since my mediation with her and my friends have been grateful."

-Rob

 

 

As your mediator, I will:

  • Guide the conversation so you have all the agreements you need without battling to get there

  • Provide financial expertise so you don't have to blindly make financial decisions

  • Document everything in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) detailing all agreements you make during mediation

  • Offer transparent, flat-fee  value-based pricing. Mediation packages start at $2000 (or $2500 if a parenting plan is included) and are based on the complexity of your finances so you know exactly what the cost of the process will be when you get started.

 

The Great Lakes Divorce Mediation Process

Over time, I have refined my process and found that the following works well to establish a rapport with each party and quickly resolve the issues that need to be resolved.

Step 1: Mediation Orientation

The first step is to meet either virtually or in person and review the mediation process. If a decision is made to move forward, both parties sign the agreement to mediate

 

Step 2: Conversation/Meeting with Each Party

I have a conversation with each of the parties to go over any questions they have and learn more about their goals and concerns. This is also a time when we talk about communication techniques to make the mediation sessions as productive as possible.

 

Step 3: Document Gathering and Analysis

When you first contact me or at the Orientation, I will provide a list of financial documents to gather. These documents can be submitted in person or online, depending which is more convenient for you. I review the financial documents to determine what needs to be addressed in the Separation Agreement.

 

Step 4: Mediation Sessions

I schedule mediation sessions in 2-hour time blocks. For each session, there is an agenda of items to discuss. The first item on the agenda is always asking if there is something pressing that needs to be discussed. The agenda is flexible and can be adjusted as needed.

Broad topics address in mediation are as follows:

  • Parenting Plan
  • Child Support
  • Spousal Support
  • Division of Assets/Liabilities

At the conclusion of each mediation session, I provide both parties with my session notes, which includes the topics that were discussed, the agreements that were made and any proposals that are under consideration.

 

Step 5: Review the Memorandum of Understanding

Once all of the items are resolved, I draft a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). I ask that each party carefully review the MOU and make sure I captured everything accurately and nothing else needs to be discussed. Once both parties agree to the document, I provide a final version.

 

Step 6: Document Preparation 

For your legal document preparation, I can refer you to an attorney that I work with regularly or you are welcome to choose your attorney. If you prefer, you can prepare your documents yourselves but I always encourage clients to at least have an attorney review them.

 

Step 7: File with the Court

Once your court documents are prepared, you can have them filed with the court by your attorney or you can file them with the court directly.

 

Step 8: Parenting Class

Many jurisdictions require a parenting class if you have children under the age of 18. The class should be taken prior to your court appearance.

 

Step 9: Finalize 

The last step is to have your case finalized by appearing before the court and acknowledging that you are both in agreement to the terms of your settlement. 

 

 

Download your free guide to an affordable, fair and amicable dissolution of marriage in Ohio.

FAQs About Divorce Mediation

There are numerous benefits to divorce mediation. To name a few, it is a confidential process. Agreements are made outside the courtroom so you can maintain your privacy throughout the process.

It typically costs substantially less than more adversarial approaches to terminating a marriage. You also have far more control over the costs as the parties involved determine how slowly or quickly the process moves.

If there are children involved and you will be sharing parenting responsibilities following the divorce, it is important that you work together to come up with a parenting arrangement that will work for everyone involved. This limits complications down the line.

A divorce mediator facilitates the conversation between the parties who are terminating their marriage. The process is both voluntary and confidential. When I work with a couple, I begin the process by talking about what divorce mediation is and what it is not. I am not an attorney and do not provide legal advice. If the parties involved do not currently have counsel, I always recommend that they seek legal advice throughout the mediation. At each mediation session, we go over a list of topics based on the parties’ needs.

We offer divorce mediation on a flat-fee basis. The cost is based on financial complexity and begins at $2000. Most of our cases range from $2000-$7000. For a quote, schedule a call to discuss your case.

In most cases, divorce mediation expenses are shared. In some cases, one spouse will agree to pay the costs or a loved one will provide financial support for the mediation

Negotiations will include all issues that need to be resolved for a dissolution of marriage in Ohio.

The broad topics that we cover over the course of the mediation sessions are division of assets (and/or liabilities), spousal support, child support, and a parenting plan. Within each of these topics, the specifics vary significantly depending on the case.

At the conclusion of each session, I provide a summary of what was discussed and at the conclusion of the process, I provide a Memorandum of Understanding, which is a document that outlines the various issues as they were agreed upon during the mediation.

The agreement can then be taken to their attorneys for final review and document preparation.

That's difficult to say as it depends what you already have agreed upon and what needs to be discussed. It also depends on the complexity of your situation. I will create an agenda for each session and email a follow-up summary after the session, which includes proposals that are under consideration. I might also recommend that you get some additional information about something (i.e. property value, pension). Things move quicker if you are able to readily gather the information.

Gather all of your financial information. If you would like a list of items to gather, contact me at [email protected] and I will send you the list that I use.

Spend time thinking about what is most important to you and what will be most important to the other party.

Create a list of items to be addressed in mediation. Approach the mediation with a mindset of compromise for those things that do not matter as much to you in order to improve the possibility of achieving an agreeable settlement.

Always remember that mediation is charged on an hourly basis so you do not want to waste your time and money squabbling about things that are not so important to you.

To complete your dissolution of marriage, you need to file the required paperwork for your jurisdiction.

I am an not attorney and do not provide legal advice nor do I draft legal documents. As a service to my clients, I maintain a list of attorneys who will charge minimally for document preparation and will not require a full retainer to do so.  You can also choose to self-file. However, I still recommend seeking advice from an attorney.

I offer virtual divorce mediation; this is your best option if you really do not want to be in the same room or you cannot be, due to distance.

As a mediator, I facilitate the conversation between the parties involved. I do not provide my opinion or tell you what you should do. If you hire me as a CDFA, rather than a mediator, I will provide guidance on the division of assets as well as spousal and child support. The advice is focused on an equitable division of assets and maximizing the marital estate.  So as not to confuse matters, if I am working as a CDFA, I am not working as a mediator.

We are prepared to mediate the whole range of issues that will be part of your divorce settlement. With that said, we add the most value for those clients who have greater financial complexity and would benefit specifically from someone trained in financial mediation.

No problem! We support a lot more than the dissolution of marriage in Ohio. With technology, we never have to meet in person. Many divorcing couples choose online mediation for its many benefits even when they are not located near our offices. 

Divorce Mediation - Cleveland, Ohio

We are now offering divorce mediation at a variety of locations in and around Cleveland, OH. Some locations offers evening/Saturday hours and some are only available traditional working hours. Email [email protected] to determine which location is most convenient for you.

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