Helpful Resources and Articles About Our Mediation Services
FAQ's about Mediation
When Henry Kissinger mediated an end to the Middle East War in 1974, the Arabs and Israelis had zero trust, zero communicationand zero goodwill. When the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service resolves disputes between the largest unions and the largest companies, there is zero trust, zero communication and zero goodwill. When the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reports that 96% of employers and 91% of employees would use mediation again to solve problems, they are referring to situations where there was zero trust, zero communication and zero goodwill. Yet mediation succeeds in all these instances. It succeeds because people do not need to get along in order to successfully mediate. In fact, the whole point of mediation is to find rational answers for people who don’t get along! To mediate successfully, the only thing the people need to agree on is this: a desire to reach fair solutions – even if they differ on what a fair solution might be. If that foundation exists, a skilled mediator can develop answers in a way that makes problems with communication, trust and goodwill irrelevant, and in a way that those qualities may actually improve. A skilled mediator focuses attention on facts and away from fights. A skilled mediator crafts agreement out of adversity. So says Henry Kissinger.
In the court system, each person has an attorney to protect them. In the mediation system, each person can have an attorney, their parents, clergy, therapist and financial advisors to protect them. If a person feels they need back-up, they will have it. Because each person is a decision maker, no decision is ever made until the person has acid-tested that decision and has weighed it together with any adviser or counsellor they choose.
In mediation we say: Question, Consult, Confirm. Take what happens in mediation to those whom you rely upon for guidance, and bring back to mediation your thoughts and concerns. If you have confidence that, aided by those you trust, you can make good decisions for yourself, then mediation will allow you to make good decisions. ****
However, we at Mediation Solutions take our responsibilities very seriously. We want agreements that are carefully thought out and that reflect the important interests of both people. If our Mediators perceive that one person is cowed by the other, and unable either directly, or with the help of outside advisors, to speak up for themselves, and instead that person is just agreeing to whatever is proposed by the other; then we will terminate the mediation.
Our Mediation Agreement, which is signed by both people when mediation commences, always reserves to the Mediator, the right to end the mediation in this circumstance. We will never knowingly allow mediation to be used to create one-sided agreements.
The Mediation process starts with an organizational session. During this session, we try to identify every issue that needs to be resolved and talk about what information we will need to understand each one. This could involve arranging for house appraisals, financial statements and asset valuations. At the organizational session, we will also discuss any emergency issues and try to resolve them right away, such as problems with paying bills or problems with a child’s conduct. Most often, but not always, the organizational session is attended by both people involved.
As discussed above, the Mediator reserves the power to terminate the mediation if the Mediator feels that one person is not able to meaningfully participate in the process. We will not knowingly allow mediation to be used to produce one-sided agreements. So, mediation is not appropriate if either person does not feel capable of speaking privately with the Mediator about what is most important to them.
Mediation is also not appropriate when force is being used in some way between the two divorcing people. This can be physical force, such as violence, emotional force, such as intimidation, or economic force, such as impoverishing a person or a household. In all those instances, we would recommend obtaining relief in the form of orders of protection or emergency support orders.
For the organizational session and all subsequent sessions, the cost is $600.00 per session, and each session lasts approximately ninety minutes. If a session runs over by more than a few minutes, then increments are billed in fifteen minute segments. Payment for all conferences is expected at the time of the conference. Sometimes, conferencing will take place between the Mediator and one or both people between sessions, and when it does, for more than just a few minutes, increments are billed in fifteen minute segments.
In most cases, the mediation is concluded in ten sessions or less.
When an agreement is reached, Mediation Solutions will prepare a draft of the agreement. The cost for this preparation is generally $500.00, but it may vary depending on the nature and complexity of the agreements involved. Upon filing with the County Clerk’s office, there are fees due the County Clerk directly.
In addition, there may be fees due for appraisals and valuations of certain assets, to be paid directly to the appraisers, when the matter requires it.
A True Story
About ten years ago, my wife and I were headed for divorce. She worked in a professional office, and had a professional degree. I operated my own business. We had two small children, a house in the suburbs, and a decent investment portfolio.read more
An informative and enjoyable seminar using scenes from famous Hollywood movies to illustrate Mr. Sroka’s four principles for dealing with the four elements of every conflict:
People, the Past, the Problems; and the Solutions. Presented by Louis Sroka to the employees of Knoa Software, Inc., at their Manhattan headquarters, on December 16, 2014.