TOP TEN FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT MEDIATION
What is mediation?
It is a voluntary
process, under which you work through and resolve
your issues. The parties make their own decisions
and are assisted by the neutral mediator, whose role
is to facilitate.
Who is the mediator?
The mediator should be accredited through formal training and have substantial dispute
resolution experience. The mediator must be able to help with legal, financial, tax and
Why mediation as opposed to litigation?
There are many
reasons people choose to mediate. Among them:
mediation is non-adversarial, it is private, it is
faster, it is cheaper, and it lets you control the
issues, rather than having them dictated to you by a
What is the difference between mediation and
involves taking testimony, cross-examination of
witnesses, presentation of other evidence, and a
decision usually not appealable. By contrast,
mediation is consensual. Either party may terminate
mediation at any time, for any reason, or for no
reason. Because mediation is cooperative, there are
no surprises, appeals or disappointments.
What are “The Rules” in mediation?
Usually, a written mediation agreement is signed, requiring confidentiality. It addresses issues
such as disclosure of information, voluntariness and the cost of mediation. The mediation
typically ends with the mediator preparing a written Memorandum of Understanding. It is not
signed, it is not a contract and it is not admissible in court.
Are there exceptions to mediation confidentiality?
Yes. There is no confidentiality for a crime or a fraud. Example: a secret financial account.
Example: child abuse. Example: hidden cash. There are others, so if in doubt, ask your lawyer.
Where and when does the mediation take place?
are flexible and scheduled to accommodate your
needs. They usually take place at the mediator’s
office at mutually convenient times during regular
8. Who attends mediation?
Each session is attended by both parties, sometimes in the presence of counsel. Occasionally,
the mediator may meet with one party, then the other. Unless otherwise agreed, all
communications with/to the mediator must be on notice to all.
9. What does mediation cost?
Mediators usually charge by the hour. In Northern New Jersey in 2013, experienced mediators have
hourly rates generally ranging from a low of ±$300 to a high of ±$650. The experience,
training, reputation and background of the mediator are all factors to consider.
10. What a mediator is NOT:
The mediator is not a Judge. The mediator is not an
advocate for either party. The mediator does not
make decisions. Instead, the mediator helps the
parties decide all issues based on mutual consent.
If you have other
questions, give a copy of this memo to your spouse,
and call our office to schedule your first joint