Stay Married: Mediate with your Spouse!

 

The Process and Terms & Conditions

Together with your spouse (or your attorney, if you have one), contact this office and indicate a desire to Mediate To Stay Married! This is not a mediation about how or whether to divorce. The goal is to find the path to staying married and regaining happiness in your marriage. This is NOT therapy. This is a negotiation to find the terms and conditions each of you must have the other agree to follow as you move forward so that you can avoid a divorce.  One term MAY be, likely should be, to participate in counseling, as a couple and/or individually. But this is not counseling. This is deal-making meaning each of you ask the other to stop doing certain things or to start doing certain things as a condition of each of you being willing to work on the marriage and avoid divorce and all the horrors and problems it most often brings spouses and their children. Sure, divorce LOOKS like the only solution, but it may be there are other ways to approach your situation.  Once you start the divorce process, it often spirals out of control. Separate? Most all couples who separate never reconcile because the pressure is off and the calm and peace can feel so much better that one or both spouses stop trying and divorce is virtually inevitable.

For a non-refundable fee of $75, this office will do the following:

1.     Take contact information for both spouses;

2.     Confirm that each spouse is willing to participate in mediation with the belief (or hope or both) that the marriage can be saved (but no information about either side’s views or the nature of the requests each may make during mediation because the other spouse must believe and it must be true that the mediator is NEUTRAL) and your availability in the next few weeks;

3.     Send an email to both spouses, asking that each specify the Sessions when she or he is available (mornings, afternoons, or evenings) during the next few weeks, ask the other spouse to select one Session from those during which the other is available, and request that both sides make a refundable deposit (via PayPal using a credit card or a PayPal account) for one-half (1/2) of the mediation to stay married fee for that block of time.  By depositing the refundable one-half (1/2) of the mediation fee in advance, both sides are committing to trying in good-faith to find a solution, a path, a process and the conditions on which each will agree to continue working to save the marriage. Control issues, financial problems, discipline of the children, extended family, work, friends, intimate relations with your spouse (yes, sex), co-workers, overly friendly members of the opposite gender, counseling (or lack of counseling), and anything else either of you need addressed to give you the desire to try to fix the marriage, rather than give up and divorce. Nothing is off the table. Everything is open to discussion and, hopefully, agreement.

4.     The mediation can take place in person (best results usually come from being together) or via web cam (if logistics or security is an issue).  Either side may request web cam mediation.

Rates: 

o         The fee for the Mediation to Stay Married Session block of three and one-half hours (3.5 hours) is $275 per spouse and, yes, one spouse can pay for both spouses. After all, you are still married! If you have separate finances, each spouse paying one-half is an additional indication of both good-faith and a commitment to the process.

                     Morning Session:   9:00 am to 12:30 pm

                     Afternoon Session:  1:30 pm to 5:00 pm

                     Evening Session:   6:00 pm to 9:30 pm

 o         Additional time after 3.5 hours at the rate of $75 per side per hour (1/3 hour increments) 

 o         Once scheduled, a spouse who cancels more than 48 hours in advance incurs a $99 fee and, if less than 48 hours in advance, incurs a $299 fee.  The other spouse receives a FULL REFUND.  Once scheduled, a spouse who reschedules more than 48 hours in advance incurs a $99 fee and, if less than 48 hours in advance, incurs a $199 fee.

In mediation to stay married, a neutral third party (called the "mediator") facilitates a discussion between the spouses, and keeps them focused on options to resolve any and all disputes and focused on the path to making the marriage better, coming up with specific terms under which the spouses will agree to stay married. Initially, the spouses meet together with the neutral to discuss each party’s specific requests or terms under which each spouse will not seek a divorce, but is willing to stay married and the path the couple will take to do so. The neutral assists in communications and negotiations, often meeting with the spouses separately and privately, but each spouse always retains the decision-making power. Any resolution comes from the spouses and, therefore, that resolution, however cleverly crafted, must meet each spouse’s needs and interests. Mediation produces a voluntary win-win solution. Don’t give up on your marriage and on raising your children together without trying to Mediate to Stay Married!