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Divorce Mediation FAQs

Below are frequently asked questions by clients

Frequently Asked Questions

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FAQ 1: How much does divorce mediation cost at Bickford Mediation?

A 1: That depends. It takes more time if you have lots of things to divide or if you have children. It takes less time if the two of you can work together well, despite your differences. Divorce mediation is  a lot less than hiring lawyers and fighting it out in court. My hourly rate is split between the two of you, and I’m already less per hour than many attorneys.

FAQ 2: You’re not an attorney. How can you be a mediator?

A 2: Rule 114 Minnesota General Rules of Practice says that anyone can be a mediator who has the proper conflict training. I have. And I’ve been mediating in churches and with couples for many years. I can handle tough and stressful situations.

FAQ 3: Why is mediation better than court?

A 3: Mediation means you, not some other person, will decide how to work things out. Different judges may decide cases differently and not always in your favor.

FAQ 4: How else is mediation better than court?

A 4: Mediation means you’re in control of the settlement. Being in control most often means better, longer lasting agreements: agreements you can live with because you, not a judge, made them. No going back to court to appeal.

FAQ 5: There’s a restraining order which say we have to be apart. Can we still mediate?

A5: That also depends. Some judges make an exception to the restraining order. Under such circumstances, mediation may be by caucus, or with each party meeting separately with the mediator in different rooms. The mediation usually takes place where there’s quick access to help in case of difficulty. Mediation in such cases may also be done with each party miles apart but it generally takes longer, is more involved and so done this way it’s more expensive.

FAQ 6: Why is your service better than getting a lawyer?

A 6: It’s just different. Retaining a lawyer may be helpful for complicated legal cases or when the couple can’t even stand being in the same room. Mediation works for people who want to work out their own agreement. And it’s much less expensive: usually less than half of what two lawyers might cost. If mediation fails completely (generally this is rare), you can still hire a lawyer and go to court.

FAQ 7: How is mediation different from arbitration?

A 7: An arbitrator helps work things out but if people can’t agree, with an arbitrator people agree to let the arbitrator decides what’s best. A mediator can’t decide but helps the people involved decide what is best.

FAQ 8: What if I still want a lawyer?

A 8: That’s fine. Some people bring lawyers to mediation. Even if you don’t, before the agreement is signed your lawyer can look it over and tell you if you should be concerned about anything you agreed to. Plus, with a lawyer presenting your mediated agreement in court, you don’t even have to be there!

FAQ 9: What happens in a mediation session if the other person gets angry and starts calling me names?

A 9: I set ground rules in the beginning so that usually doesn’t happen. If it does, I warn them. If it happens again, the mediation stops.

FAQ 10: How much do you charge per hour?

A 10: It depends on the case. I charge less than most lawyers who charge $200-$250 per hour or more and there are two of them but only one of me (parties split my charges). Writing up the agreement afterwards is generally $75 per hour.

FAQ 11: When can we meet to mediate?

A 11: Any time the people involved and I can figure out a time we agree on.