Guidelines for Mediation

Mediation is a non-adversarial process that is most effective if the parties involved work within the following guidelines:

1. Leave fault and blame aside.

2. The mediator will not make decisions for the parties. The mediator will lead the negotiations in assisting the parties to reach a decision that is acceptable to both. The mediation may be terminated at any time by the mediator or either of the parties.

3. Accept responsibility for yourself. Each party needs to speak up for themselves. This helps to facilitate the process.

4. The mediator is not acting in the capacity of an attorney and does not offer any legal advice. Both parties are encouraged to have an independent attorney look over any completed agreements. Each party has the right to have their attorney present during the mediation. A Memorandum of Understanding will incorporate all issues agreed upon. Both parties should have their own attorney look over any finalized agreements prior to signing any papers. Both parties are responsible and encouraged to have their own accountant or tax advisor look over tax ramifications associated with the agreement.

5. Communications with the mediator regarding issues under negotiation must be in the presence of both parties. Content of any telephone conversations with either party must be shared with both parties during the next session. Telephone calls to the mediator should be only for clarification of the next appointment time or information needed for the next appointment. There may be times when the mediator feels a "caucus" is needed. This is when the mediator will meet with each party separately for approximately equal time for clarification of issues. The caucus is the only time during the mediation process that information could be confidential, unless the information is substantive to the divorce. Information will not be shared unless permission of that party is first granted.

6. By signing this agreement, each of you is affirming that you will fully disclose all substantive information relative to the dispute. Should either party fail to do so, the document's validity could be questions by either party.

7. Information gathered in the mediation process is confidential and privileged, with the exception of the Child Abuse Reporting Law or threats of physical harm. By signing this agreement, both parties agree not to subpoena the mediator or any agents of the mediator to testify concerning this mediation in any subsequent court actions. Parties attempting to subpoena the mediator agree to pay all costs incurred by the mediator, including fees for the mediator's time.

8. Mediation sessions are $275.00 an hour and must be cancelled twenty-four (24) hours in advance. If this is not done, the parties will be charged the full cost of the cancelled session. I have read and understand the above guidelines for mediation. I understand that Mediation Source, Morris|Hardwick|Schneider, and the mediator do not provide legal or financial advice. I understand that I have been encouraged to seek independent legal and tax advice. I further understand that by signing this agreement I am agreeing I am competent to mediate, in good faith, and am also agreeing that I will not subpoena the mediator or any agents of the mediator to testify in court in any subsequent court action.



$________________ was collected this ____ day of ____________________,
to cover ___ hour(s) of mediation and ___hour(s) for the Memorandum of
Understanding. This has been paid from _________________________ funds.
Both parties are aware that the legal fees are totally separate and apart from mediation.

(Mediator) ___________________________________________________________

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