FAQs – About Mediation
How can mediation be used in divorce?
I AM HERE TO LISTEN, TALK THINGS OVER AND ADVOCATE FOR YOU.
Mediation in divorce is very helpful because the parties work together to achieve a settlement. In this way, they control their own future instead of a judge making decisions for them. Each person sits with me, a neutral third party, and we work on achieving a settlement and talk about how the relationship is going to look and work going forward. A mediated divorce settlement will almost certainly be less costly and the parties control how long the process will take.
Mediation does not work when one party is not willing to negotiate or a spouse does not want to end the marriage. Both parties need to be engaged in moving forward and working together on a settlement in a peaceful and economical manner.
I will not mediate cases where domestic violence is present.
As your mediator I am neutral party, trained to help you work through the issues and discuss your needs and interests. I facilitate a conversation between the two of you and help you reach a mutually acceptable agreement.
I recommend that both parties consult with a divorce attorney to answer your questions, advise you of your legal rights, approve your finalized agreement and file your court documents. While I am a lawyer and knowledgeable about divorce law, I am not your lawyer and cannot give you legal advice.
Yes, if you and your spouse have filed for divorce and do not have an agreement for financial and custody issues, the court will refer you to mediation. I am a court-certified mediator for the Cook County Domestic Relations for discretionary mediation (discovery disputes, financial issues and issues not related to custody, visitation/parenting time or removal) and mandatory mediation (child related issues).
I charge $225 an hour for mediation. Before I will meet with both parties together, I meet for one hour with each party for an individual consultation. Typically, each joint mediation session is about 2 hours and there may be several sessions. I also require a $450 flat fee rate to cover my preparation of the Memorandum which will be given to the court upon completion of the mediation. Each party must pay the initial fees at the beginning of his or her individual session. At the beginning of the first joint mediation session, the parties must pay the $450 flat fee, plus $450 for a two hour session. Fees for any later sessions are due in advance, at the beginning of those sessions. If you cancel your individual mediation session less than 24 hours in advance a $225 charge is due and if the joint session is cancelled less than 24 hours in advance a $450 charge is due.
Yes, I do mediate at night and on the weekends. There is an additional fee of $50 per hour.
FAQ’s – Special Education AdvocacyDo I need an attorney?
Typically parents call for an attorney when there is an emergency. Possibly the school wants to change the child’s placement or the school will not acknowledge the child’s special educational needs. Maybe the school has scheduled a meeting and the parent is unsure what will happen at that meeting. However, if you are having any issues with your child’s educational needs or you just are not sure if you are on the right track, it is more helpful to call an attorney before a crisis occurs.
First, I will have a (free) 45 minute consultation where I will listen to information about your child’s background, his or her needs and the issues with your child’s educational setting. Then if you decide to retain my services, I will ask for copies of your child’s IEP, IFSP or 504 Plan for the past 3 years, as well as all school and private reports, and any other necessary information. After review, we will determine a plan of action for your child. I will help you understand the law and what appropriate services may mean for your child.
That depends on the situation. Bringing an attorney to your child’s IEP meeting may increase the conflict level and may not help the issue at hand. If I do not attend the meeting with you, I will help you prepare for it ahead of time and empower you to obtain the appropriate services for your child.
If necessary I will talk to the school’s attorney on behalf of your child.