The Mediation Process
The question I always get, Are you a lawyer? No. I am not an attorney.
Exceptional mediators come from a wide range of occupations and backgrounds. Some are in the field of law and some are not. No one education or occupation is an automatic guarantee of mediation talent. According to Mediate.com writer Chris Currie, “…mediation is not a natural extension of the practice of law, because mediation permits a broader definition of conflict as well as a more complete approach to its resolution. Because attorneys are schooled in, and acculturated to, the adversarial approach, it is very difficult (but certainly not impossible) for them to be equally accomplished in a more collaborative approach to settling disputes. There is no evidence to suggest that simply because a conflict may involve issues of law, that legal skills are more relevant to facilitating its resolution than human relations and negotiation skills.”
It is unethical for mediators to give legal advice in mediation even if they are an attorney. If you need legal, or any other kind of advice such as tax or financial issues, parties are expected to seek sources outside the mediation.
According to NOLO.com a publisher of do-it-yourself legal guides since 1971.
“Typical mediation cases, such as consumer claims, small business disputes, or auto accident claims, are usually resolved after a half day or, at most, a full day of mediation. Cases with multiple parties often last longer: Add at least an hour of mediation time for each additional party. Major business disputes — those involving lots of money, complex contracts, or ending a partnership — may last several days or more.
Private divorce mediation, where a couple aims to settle all the issues in their divorce — property division, alimony, child custody, visitation, and support — generally requires half a dozen or more mediation sessions spread over several weeks or months.”
Standard Divorce Mediation rates can range from $1200.00 to $5000.00 depending on the complexity of the mediation.