When you use Simmons & Gottfried, PLLC to mediate your dissolution or paternity action, the sequence of events is normally as follows:
1. The two parties can come in for a complimentary consultation. They can ask any questions they have about the process and select a mutually agreeable mediation appointment. Simmons & Gottfried, PLLC provides after-hours mediations where the parties’ schedules require it.
2. Prior to the first session, the mediator e-mails (or mails) the parties the Confidentiality Agreement and the Agreement to Mediate to review in advance. The mediator also sends an Intake Form for the parties to complete together or separately. This form helps the parties and the mediator to define the issues and gather necessary information prior to the first session.
3. Mediation is completed in one session or multiple sessions, depending on the needs and desires of the parties. The length of each session also depends on the needs of the parties. At the mediation, the parties work with the mediator to identify and resolve the issues. Where custody and access are at issue, the parties generally complete a Joint Custody Agreement during the mediation. Other resolved issues are written up as a contract. The parties can sign the agreements during the mediation session, or they can sign it at a later date. The parties pay for the time used, plus a $50.00 administrative fee, at the end of the first mediation session. The parties pay for any subsequent mediation session at the end of those sessions. The parties pay for any other services at the time requested. The parties pay for their own Court filing fees.
4. The parties can use the mediator simply to help them reach agreements or to also help guide them through the entire Court process. While the mediator cannot provide legal advice, the mediator can help the parties complete and file the necessary paperwork with the Court (Ex. Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, plus the supporting documents; Acceptance of Service; Decree of Dissolution of Marriage; Join Custody Agreement; Child Support Worksheet). The mediator also watches the parties’ deadlines. Note: the mediator will not get copies of any documents sent by the Court, so the parties need to inform the mediator if they receive anything. The mediator will help the parties address any such notices or orders.
5. The process is complete when either: (1) the last mediation session ends; (1) the parties sign the mediated agreement; and/or (2) the parties receive the orders from the Court, if the parties requested assistance with same.
Alona M. Gottfried is a family law mediator and attorney in Arizona. If you have questions about mediation, she can be reached at: 480-998-1500 or firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a general interest article only and is not intended to be legal advice. See a legal professional before making legal decisions.
Simmons & Gottfried, PLLC
8160 E. Butherus Dr., Suite #7
Scottsdale, AZ 85260