Christine Hickey, Esq. 120 East Washington Street, Suite 711, Syracuse, New York 13202 (315) 422-9756
CNY MEDIATION SERVICES, Inc.
Divorce Mediation, Syracuse, New York
120 East Washington Street, Suite 711
Syracuse, New York 13202
(315) 422-9756 Phone (315) 479-5651 Fax
Website by Cristin Manfredi and Content by Christine Hickey
Copyright 2016 cnymediationservices.com. All Rights Reserved.
What to Look for in a Mediation Service
Be sure you are treated with common courtesy, dignity and respect. This includes having your phone calls returned within 24-48 business hours with few exceptions.
Ask your mediator about her or his training and experience in mediation and approach to dealing with conflict. At a minimum, be sure that she or he is either a Practitioner Member of The Association of Conflict Resolution (ACR) or an Accredited Member of the New York State Council on Divorce Mediation, or is working toward such credentials. This ensures a minimal level of education and experience. Having a competent and compatible mediator will increase your satisfaction with the process and the results.
Be sure you learn the approximate cost for the entire mediation. Expect that there will be charges for: Mediation sessions; Work done for you between meetings; and Drafting the Agreement. Depending upon your circumstances, other legal documents may be prepared.
There are three main areas to be covered in a Separation Agreement depending upon your circumstances. They are parenting (custody and visitation), support (child support and/or spousal maintenance) and the division of your assets and debts (equitable distribution). Related to each of these areas are other, more detailed issues such as dependency exemptions, child tax credits, and other tax related issues, health, life and disability insurance, relocation, refinancing debts including the marital residence, and legal and mediation fees. A comprehensive Agreement settled in mediation will reduce conflict in the future relieving you of both stress and expense.
Unless you have an extremely simple and straightforward set of circumstances, if you are promised that your mediation can be completed in one or two sessions, you might question whether or not you are receiving thorough attention to the issues that need to be included in your Agreement. Full financial disclosure is required in mediation (as it is when working with lawyers and the courts), and careful consideration given to your parenting plan, support and equitable distribution will reduce anxiety and future problems for both you and your children. ____
If you go to a mediator who is a lawyer, she or he will write the legally binding Agreement. You will be asked to sign a retainer agreement with the mediator if she or he drafts legal documents on your behalf. If you go to a mediator who is not a lawyer, you will receive a Memorandum of Understanding at the end of the process. It is not a legally binding contract; it must be rewritten into a legally binding contract by an attorney.
This Office strongly recommends that you each have separate attorneys for legal advice and to review your Agreement before signing. Your mediator does not represent you or your spouse in a legal capacity, instead she or he works equally for both of you as an impartial third party.