Robert F. Smith, Attorney at Law is an accredited Mediator, he has had extensive training and experience in mediation. Mr. Smith also has advanced training in domestic violence mediation.
WHAT IS MEDIATION
Mediation is neither a legal process nor Arbitration. Mediation is an informative process during which an impartial third party, the Mediator, assists divorcing couples in reaching a mutually acceptable agreement regarding all issues in dispute. The mediation session is intended to identify issues, clarify any misunderstandings, explore solutions, and negotiate a settlement that you can submit to your attorney. Each mediation session is private. You have the power to make your own decisions and resolve your own disputes. Both parties must agree or no agreement is reached.
WHAT IS THE MEDIATOR’S ROLE?
The Mediator does not give legal advice. The Mediator is not a Judge and does not render a decision or impose a solution on any party. Rather the Mediator helps those involved to resolve their disputes themselves. The Mediator manages the mediation session and remains impartial.
HOW DOES MEDIATION WORK?
In advance, the parties will each submit to the Mediator information concerning their children, property, income, debts and a summary of their points of view. At the scheduled mediation session, both parties present their points of view. (In some cases the parties may have their attorneys present). Typically, the Mediator will then meet privately and confidentially (caucus) with each party to explore more fully the facts and issues of each side. The caucus offers participants the opportunity to communicate to the Mediator their real interests in the dispute as well as to vent anger or frustration outside the presence of the opposing side. Then the Mediator can continue to caucus alternatively with each party, carrying proposals back and forth until an agreement is reached, or, the parties may meet in open session with the Mediator helping the parties talk to each other, thereby allowing them to resolve each issue themselves. Finally, the Mediator will reduce into writing the outcome of the mediation. The written agreement is called a Memorandum of Understanding detailing all of your agreements. Your attorney will review the Memorandum of Understanding and incorporate it into the required legal documents to complete your divorce.
HOW LONG DOES MEDIATION TAKE?
Mediation sessions are limited to no more than three hours. Some mediations require more than one session.
WHO PAYS FOR MEDIATION?
Expenses of mediation are shared equally by the parties unless they agree otherwise. Charges are based on an hourly rate and may vary depending on the type of case. Mr. Smith will be glad to discuss rates with you and reach a written agreement regarding his fees.
HOW DO WE PROCEED?
Just call our office at (256)764-ATTY(2889) to arrange an appointment for you and your spouse to come in for a consultation. The Mediator will only meet with both of you jointly so that you both receive the same information. The Mediator will not talk to you individually. We take all precautions to ensure that each party is treated equally.