Mediation Process & Outcomes
With David Louis as mediator your discussions will remain civil, constructive, and balanced, resulting in agreements that are mutually acceptable.
What is divorce mediation?
With the decision to divorce, you and your spouse face a life-changing transition. Divorce mediation is a constructive and respectful process designed to help you decide the terms of your divorce with the help of a neutral mediator. In mediation you work through the issues you need to resolve so the two of you can end your marriage as amicably and cost-effectively as possible. The goal is to remove uncertainty and come to agreement on what is best for both of you and your family.
Divorce mediation is flexible and confidential. It gives you and your spouse a way to settle conflict and strengthen communication. This is particularly important if you have children and will be interacting with your ex-spouse as a co-parent for years to come.
Mediation is a process that you control. You set the schedule and the pace, and it is voluntary—it only continues if you want it to.
What is David's role?
In mediation the focus is on the future rather than on the past. David’s role in divorce mediation is to help you to communicate and reach decisions on all relevant issues. He will assist you to keep the lines of communication open, brainstorm ideas, evaluate the implications and workability of options, promote empathy, and create an environment where you can make the best decisions for your futures. David will be your “navigator.” He will keep you focused on the issues at hand, saving you time (and money) and supporting you in creating your plans for new, separate lives.
“I focus on structured, meaningful dialogue” — David
“I’m here for you at a time when you most need support, aiming to make your separation or divorce as easy, painless and peaceful as possible. The goal is to help you move forward by focusing on structured and meaningful dialogue. Sessions offer you both a voice in shaping your futures and acknowledge your needs and those of your children. As a skilled, compassionate and calm mediator, I’ll ensure that your discussions remain civil, constructive and balanced. The result: agreements that are reasonable and acceptable to both of you.”
How does the mediation process work?
Mediation with David begins with an optional consultation, where you get to know him and his approach, ask questions, and get a feel for whether working with him is a good fit. If you choose to work with David, both spouses will review and sign a Mediation Agreement. This contract describes the basic rules and understanding of the mediation process.
David uses a facilitative approach to mediation. He assists his clients in shaping an agenda for their discussions, but defers to their needs and interests. Most of his clients are looking for a path to guide their conversations and decision-making process. David helps them by identifying the key areas that must be addressed in any divorce settlement.
“Important topics require your decisions” — David
“During our mediation sessions, we will cover all of the important topics that will require decisions by you in moving ahead with your separate lives. These topics will include distribution of assets and debts, a parenting plan (if there are children), and financial support arrangements (such as child support, spousal maintenance, health and life insurance). I strive to create a neutral process that empowers my clients to communicate with each other. In this context they can make their own informed, mutually acceptable decisions.”
How long is the mediation process?
Mediation sessions with David Louis are typically scheduled for 1½ -2 hours each session. Most couples complete the process in 3-4 sessions, which are scheduled at the pace determined by the couple.
On average, the billable time for couples with children ranges from 9-12 hours. For couples without children, the billing range is typically 6-9 hours.
The mediation process ends with a final meeting to review the Memorandum of Understanding, prepared by David. The Memorandum of Understanding is a comprehensive document that contains the specific details of all the decisions you have agreed upon and supplies all the information needed by an attorney to prepare and file your legal documents at much lower cost than a contested divorce. (You can employ your own attorney or David will recommend someone to help you with these final legal steps in the process.) After legal papers have been prepared, a “Prove Up” session is scheduled with the court, where a judge will review your divorce settlement and, when approved, issue a Judgment of Divorce.
How much does mediation cost?
David believes that divorce mediation services should be accessible and affordable. Since he is not a divorce lawyer, his rates are lower than those of lawyers, including attorneys who provide divorce mediation services. For couples with limited resources, a reduced fee may be available.
Do we need a lawyer?
During the mediation process, whether or not to consult with an attorney is the clients’ choice. Since mediators cannot provide legal advice, David will encourage (but does not require) that you seek the services of an attorney to consult with as needed throughout the process. Attorneys can assist you in discussing any legal issues or concerns you may have. With the approval of both spouses, attorneys are welcome to attend and participate in mediation sessions.
Attorneys can also review the Memorandum of Understanding, which is produced at the end of the mediation process, before any legal documents are prepared, so that you can feel confident that the decisions you have made in mediation are in your best interest.
Since mediators typically do not prepare legal documents for their clients, you will need the services of an attorney to prepare those documents to finalize your divorce. David can provide you with a list of attorneys who are understanding and supportive of the mediation process.
How does David facilitate the mediation process?
What outcomes can we expect?
With the completion of the divorce mediation process, significant plans will be in place for your family’s future.
How to prepare BEFORE you choose a mediator
For most couples, it’s important to address three questions before engaging mediation services:
1. What do you want to do about your marriage?
When a marriage is in trouble, there are three possible outcomes:
2. If your choice is to end the marriage, what process will you use?
3. If you choose mediation as the process for ending your marriage, who is the mediator with whom you want to work?
As mediators have different backgrounds, demeanors and styles, it’s important that you feel that your mediator is a good fit for you. Meet with David for an initial consultation to explore if he is the mediator who will best meet your needs.
Clients appreciate David Louis’ services
“I have often been deeply grateful for your calm, your focus, and your ability to redirect difficult behavior into productive conversation. There were many painful moments that you helped me with by being so professional and confident that the process would work. I am very happy with the final agreement. Thank you so much. We would never have been able to come to all those compromises without you leading us there.”