What is Interdisciplinary Mediation?
In interdisciplinary mediation, the attorney-mediator acts as the primary mediator and coordinator of the case. The clients are given the option to work with a divorce coach (a licensed mental health professional) to mediate their parenting schedule and with a neutral financial analyst to evaluate the economic impact of various settlement options for property and debt division, child support, and spousal support.
What Happens in the Interdisciplinary Mediation Process?
The first steps in an interdisciplinary mediation are the same as those in a single-mediator mediation. First, the attorney-mediator helps the clients negotiate any temporary arrangements to stabilize their cash flow, living situation, or parenting plan during the negotiation of the permanent settlement. Then, the attorney-mediator coordinates the mandatory completion of disclosure forms and document production by the clients. Next, the attorney-mediator does a general overview of all the issues with the clients, providing neutral legal information such as definitions of community and separate property, legal and physical child custody, and child and spousal support.
After this introductory overview, the clients have the option to work with the neutral divorce coach to mediate a parenting (child custody) schedule and co-parenting communication plan. They also have the option of working with a neutral financial specialist to analyze the pros and cons of various settlement possibilities before moving on to the negotiation of a final agreement. It is up to the clients to jointly decide whether they want to use either or both the neutral divorce coach or the neutral financial specialist. If they choose not to do so, the attorney-mediator will mediate those issues as is done in a single-mediator Mediation - for Divorce or Family Law.
Does an Interdisciplinary Mediation Allow Me to Consult Privately With My Own Legal Counsel?
Interdisciplinary mediation allows and is compatible with the participating clients using separate confidential outside consulting attorneys just as may be done in a single-mediator Mediation - for Divorce or Family Law.
Who Writes Up the Mediation Agreement?
Faith Jansen, as the attorney-mediator, will write up a proposed rough draft settlement agreement in an interdisciplinary mediation. That rough draft will be given to the other neutral professionals involved in the case for review as to the areas in which they worked. Once that review and revision process is completed, the rough draft is given to the clients for their review just as would be done in a single-mediator Mediation - for Divorce or Family Law.
How Does the Mediation Agreement Get Made into a Court Judgment or Order?
The clients’ agreement will get made into a court judgment using the same process as is utilized in a single-mediator Mediation - for Divorce or Family Law.
How Long Will Mediation Take?
The number hours it takes to mediate a case depends on the complexity of the legal and financial issues as well as on the communication dynamics of the participants. In an interdisciplinary mediation, it is necessary for there to be a reasonable amount of communication between the attorney-mediator, divorce coach and financial specialist. All the professionals keep these communications as focused and efficient as possible in order to minimize the overall cost of the process to the clients.
How Do I Select the Neutral Divorce Coach and the Neutral Financial Specialist?
The neutral divorce coach and neutral financial specialist should have training in either integrative mediation or collaborative practice divorce. Faith Jansen has ties to many such practitioners and is able to provide referrals to the clients. The clients enter separate retainer agreements with the attorney-mediator, the divorce coach and financial specialist. Each retainer agreement provides for confidentiality and a release to communicate with the other professionals in the interdisciplinary mediation.