Your Questions About Mediation Answered

Why should I choose mediation?

Choosing to mediate your divorce is not nearly as stressful and combative as litigating your divorce in a courtroom. In fact, anyone with a non-criminal legal dispute can stand to benefit from mediation as a means of conflict resolution. At Finger Lakes Mediation and Divorce Coaching LLC, we can mediate disputes related to child custody, elder care, business matters, and so much more. Mediation tends to provide better outcomes even in cases with high levels of conflict.

What is the first step in the mediation process?

All of the parties are introduced in a neutral, safe area in order to begin defining the subject and goals of the discussion. Any children involved will likely not be present at this stage.

Do I need a lawyer?

This depends on the nature of your case and is totally up to your discretion. Finger Lakes Mediation always encourages our clients to explore their options and make the best decision for their individual circumstances.

Can my lawyer attend mediation?

Yes, anyone who has retained the services of an attorney may invite their attorney to attend mediation.

What do I do if I’m not safe?

Call 911 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) if you, your children, or any of your loved ones are in danger.

Can a mediator give legal advice?

Mediators will not give legal advice to any of the parties involved in the mediation process. Mediators are knowledgeable about legal matters and follow current state standards in regard to mediation.

What kind of paperwork comes out of mediation?

A Memorandum of Understanding will be drawn up by your mediator once an agreement is reached. The memorandum must then be notarized. Finger Lakes Mediation recommends having an attorney review the paperwork before signing.

Should my children be involved?

Mediation should always be conducted with the utmost concern for the wellbeing of any children involved in the dispute. Children can participate in discussions about custody and visitation if they are of an appropriate age and they choose to do so.

How do mediators work with children?

Finger Lakes Mediation listens to and validates the voices of children. We seek out each party’s unique perspective in order to come up with goals and next steps. Mediators may speak with each party individually (which is called caucusing) or facilitate a group discussion, depending on the nature of the case.

What happens if the other party doesn’t want to use mediation?

In order to use mediation, all parties must be fully willing to cooperate with the process. Having an open mind and cooperative attitude is absolutely essential to the mediation process.

How much will mediation cost?

Mediation is one of the most cost-effective ways to resolve a legal dispute; it also gives the parties involved much greater control over the outcome. Finger Lakes Mediation charges an hourly fee for mediation. The overall cost is shared by the parties in a way they all agree to. Read more about our rates here.

How is mediation different from arbitration?

A mediator doesn’t have the power to make a final decision. With mediation, it’s up to the parties involved to come to a decision they can agree on. An arbitrator can make a decision without approval from one or more parties involved.

How much time does mediation take?

The timeline of a mediation case depends on the parameters of the clients, as well as their goals and the steps necessary to reach the desired result. At Finger Lakes Mediation, we are dedicated to giving each case a realistic timeline and the dedication necessary to see it through.

How can I prepare for mediation?

We recommend that you contact Finger Lakes Mediation and explain your particular situation. Our experts will be able to give you guidance on the best way to prepare for your mediation case.

How can I trust that I will get a fair decision?

One of the many benefits of mediation is the emphasis on mutual agreement, client control, and overall fairness. You will receive a Memorandum of Understanding at the end of mediation, and we encourage you to have this document reviewed by your attorney. Finger Lakes Mediation is dedicated to reaching a fair outcome for all the parties involved, even in high-conflict cases.

Are mediation proceedings confidential?

Finger Lakes Mediation will never disclose any information about mediation cases unless required by law to do so. If divulging information about your mediation case is required by law, we will let all parties involved know before the mediation process begins.