You Can Get Help Without Turning To An Attorney
IS JEFFREY BLOOM A LAWYER?
No. Jeffrey is a Certified Mediator, trained by the New York Center for Mediation & Training, with a law degree from Concord Law School and a Masters Degree in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution from Creighton University.
DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY?
At the conclusion of the mediation, in most cases, Jeffrey Bloom will be able to prepare your separation agreement and the No-Fault Divorce package in his role as mediator. It is strongly recommended that each spouse consult with review attorney at some point during the mediation process, but especially at the end, to review the agreement prior to signing. This will ensure that you both have a full understanding of your individual legal rights and responsibilities. Your separation agreement will become a binding legal contract between you once properly signed. In most cases Jeffrey Bloom will be able to prepare and file all uncontested divorce documents on your behalf, in his role as Mediator.
WHAT PREPARATION IS NEEDED FOR THE FIRST MEETING?
While it is very helpful to come prepared with certain documentation to the first meeting, there will also be time to provide this information as we progress through the process. Generally what is helpful is financial information concerning your assets, liabilities and typical budget as well as information concerning your children’s schedules. Also helpful are thoughts you have regarding how to reach settlement (including your goals for the agreement). Yet if this is confusing or simply too much to deal with prior to meeting, just come to the first meeting and we will jointly discuss how to proceed.
CAN A MEDIATOR FILE THE PAPERS IN COURT FOR US?
Yes, Jeffrey, will complete the final Agreement and No-Fault Divorce papers and file with the court and follow the status until the process is complete and final Judgment of Divorce is signed by the Judge. There is no need for either party to appear in court.
DOES A MEDIATOR HAVE TO BE A LAWYER/ATTORNEY?
No. Certainly there are divorce attorneys out there who also provide mediation services and are well-qualified to do so. Unfortunately though, there are also many attorneys who have simply added mediation to the list of services they offer without undergoing adequate training to properly address the emotional and financial aspects of divorce.
IS MEDIATION BINDING?
Mediation is not binding until both parties sign a Marital Settlement Agreement and file it with the court – once this is done the agreement becomes a binding contract. In order to create the Marital Settlement Agreement, as individual issues are settled throughout the mediation process the parties will memorialize interim decisions and agreements at the end of each session. Once all of the issues have been addressed, these interim agreements are combined to form the basis of the Marital Settlement Agreement.
If along the way, you decide that mediation is not for you, you always have the option to pursue the court route to divorce (it is not uncommon for couples to resort to litigation and then return to mediation once they experience the significant time, money and stress inherent in taking a divorce to court).
CAN A MEDIATOR BE A WITNESS IN COURT?
No. A mediator is not even allowed to talk about the issue outside your meetings. Jeffrey will remain a completely neutral party throughout the entire proceedings and afterwards.
HOW LONG WILL THE MEDIATION PROCESS TAKE TO COMPLETION?
When going through the adversarial process, we know it can take many years in most cases to complete a divorce proceeding. Generally, the mediation process takes only a fraction of that time. In fact, most couples come to an agreement on all the issues in three to five sessions.
Because all couples who come to divorce mediation have their own, unique set of circumstances, it is difficult to predict how long the process will take. On average, mediation with couples who have children and who own their home takes 3-6 sessions. Mediation with couples who do not have children averages 1-3 sessions. The mediation process can always be completed in a fraction of the time that it takes to divorce in the traditional manner. Mediation sessions usually last 60-90 minutes.
WHAT IS THE COST?
By choosing to go through the adversarial process, it can cost a fortune. It is a fact that each spouse can spend more than $15,000 to $25,000 EACH, and that it can and does go higher than that if the case lasts longer than 1-2 years. The average retainer in new York for a family law attorney can be $5,000-$15,000 EACH. The average cost of a mediation from start to finish is generally less than $6,000.00 in TOTAL.
During the initial FREE consultation, we will discuss your case and assign a price package that works for the both of you. The pricing packages I offer are all inclusive for the most part. The only extra costs may be the excess hours or sessions (if that is needed) or if there is a need for expert evaluations which we can discuss at the consultation.
WHAT ABOUT OUR CHILDREN?
Even though you may no longer be husband and wife you will ALWAYS be mom and dad to your children. The mediation process allows the ‘best interest of the children’ to be front and center. Who knows what is best for the children other than mom and dad? Certainly not an attorney or judge who will tell you what is best. It is not the actual divorce that can have an adverse effect on your children, but it is the way in which you get it done. Why not make the process as amicable as possible so that everyone can move forward with their lives now and in the future.
WHAT IF I ALREADY HAVE AN ATTORNEY?
We mediate with attorneys quite frequently and are very open to working with parties represented by an attorney. Our one requirement is that both sides are represented so that there is not a power imbalance. Depending on your situation, you are welcome to involve your attorney directly in the mediation (to have them present at the mediation) or to simply discuss how the process is proceeding with your attorney in between sessions.
- Quick resolutions problems
- You are in control
- You design the agreement
How Is Mediation Different From Litigation?
Divorce Corp Official Trailer #1 (2014)
- Average cost is $3,000 – $6,000 per couple
- You are in control
- You decide what is best for your children
- $15,000 – $40,000 per spouse
- Might take years
- Experts decide what is best for children
- public records
Litigation is an adversarial system where someone wins and someone loses. When you look at the caption of court cases: “John Doe vs. Jane Doe” it sets the tone for a contest. Lawyers are trained to “defend” their clients, to “win” their case, and to “defeat the other side” which all suggest a contest. There is a legal process called “discovery” that gives attorneys the tools they need to attack their opponent to gain legal advantage. This can include depositions from family members, friends, and to scrutinize personal activities and criticism of each spouse’s role as parents, all in the public arena of a courtroom. All of this warfare is time consuming, expensive, and it can increase stress levels for your children. Legal fees can range from $300 to $500 plus an hour. Multiply that by two because in New York State an attorney cannot represent both parties.
Divorce Mediation is 2 people working together, along with a neutral Mediator, to solve problems associated with the decisions that need to be made during the process of divorce. Divorce Mediation is not a contest or a war. The primary goal of Divorce Mediation is to help divorcing couples get through the process in a less confrontational setting. The mediator is a neutral party who cannot order either of you to do anything and will not make any of the decisions for you. The decisions are made by both of you and the agreement that is reached must be acceptable to you and your spouse. Instead of airing personal and painful subjects in the public arena of a courtroom, you deal with them in the privacy and confidential setting of the mediator’s office. Because couples are working together to solve problems, it takes less time, Divorce Mediation fees are less expensive, and it’s easier on your children, and on you.
How Can Jeffrey Help You?
As a mediator and conflict resolution expert, I provide a pleasant and affordable alternative to costly court battles. This will save your sanity and resources, and protect your kids, if you have any. I will work with you and your spouse to design an agreement that you can both work with in the future. This will be an agreement that will guide your family into the future and will allow everyone involved to move on to a new stage in your lives. Typically, this agreement will cover your finances and, if you have children, your parenting plan and child support. I do not use legal, complicated language. This will be written clearly and collaboratively. After we prepare the agreement we can also fill in the forms that you will need to present to the court. If you wish, you may then choose to have an attorney and / or an accountant review these documents. Ultimately, the agreement and forms will be filed with the Clerk of the Court and your case will be set for a final hearing as an uncontested and agreed upon dissolution of marriage. You may also choose to further meet with me in order to work on the parenting coordination aspect of your separation. I offer parenting coordination sessions for currently divorcing or already divorced couples.
What Is Divorce Mediation?
Family and divorce mediation can be achieved without attorneys. In mediation, it is the couple who decides on the details of your divorce, rather than leaving it to the judge, who may pass decisions which would be unfavorable to both parties. By choosing mediation over litigation, you are in control of your arrangement and future. You save costs and protect your children, assets, and oftentimes job and career. Mediation is very affordable and should not last longer than 2-4 meetings (6-10 hours). As a mediator I do not represent any of the parties. What I represent is the joint effort to work together in order to resolve a very difficult situation, which I am sure takes a heavy toll on your lives. My experience and expertise in mediation and conflict resolution will help you to overcome the barriers and reach an agreement which will allow you to separate and resolve your disputes with a sense of fairness and dignity.
Let Us Help You With Your Concerns
Come in to see Jeffrey M. Bloom to discuss your situation. You’ll work with a Certified Mediator to get the answers you need for your questions. A FREE initial consultation can help you to feel good about mediation. And, with evening and weekend appointments available, there’s no doubt you can find the time to talk.