A contested divorce can deplete your resources. It involves expensive lawyer fees, a large investment of time, unnecessary stress, and the involvement of the court where you are on display for anyone who cares to sit in and observe. It also means that a judge, not you as a couple, will make the important decisions regarding your family and property. So why would you opt for that when there is a much easier and more cost effective alternative?
Psychotherapist and relationship coach, Toni Coleman began offering divorce mediation after working with couples who came to her with irreconcilable differences and no desire to work towards rebuilding their marriages. However when they had begun exploring the process of divorce, they were overwhelmed with the potential costs of time, money, and goodwill. They feared they would not be able to recover from such a process and wanted to know what else might be possible, if anything. When Toni began to explore the use of mediation and how it leads to uncontested divorce, she could see the immediate benefit brought about by offering couples this option.
Why Divorce Mediation Works
- It is non-confrontational and cooperative
- It requires only a small investment of energy, time and money
- There is no coercion
- It is fair to both parties
- It is impartial and nonjudgmental
- It results in an uncontested divorce
The Benefits of Divorce Mediation Over Litigation
- The couple makes all the decisions regarding their property and family
- The cost savings will make a big difference to the parties following divorce
- Children will benefit from having their parents decide what the plan will be
- It will decrease conflict and feelings of ill-will
- You can begin mediation anytime, even after a divorce action has been filed in the court
What Divorce Mediation Entails
- A no-charge initial phone consultation to determine if mediation is right for you
- Agreeing upon and scheduling the first session via email
- Holding hourly sessions where you will:
- Identify all issues that need discussion and resolution
- Work through one issue at a time, exploring options and solutions
- Use negotiation and compromise to achieve a workable agreement
- Prepare a draft of an agreement that covers parenting plans, finances, property division, and other issues specific to your situation
- Review and revise the draft agreement, including a review by your lawyers if one or both of you choose to do so
- Once your agreement is reached, finalized, and signed it can be incorporated into your settlement agreement which can then be presented to the court where the divorce petition was filed and reviewed by the presiding judge.
When Divorce Mediation May Not Be For You
- When physical or emotional abuse is present
- If there is an active restraining order or protective in place
- If one spouse is unable to fully participate in the process and advocate for themselves
Fees For Divorce Mediation Services
There is no charge for initial phone consultation. This will consist of a 20 to 30 minute discussion about whether divorce mediation is a good fit for you, or not. The hourly rate for sessions is $250.00, and payment is expected at the time of the service. Generally sessions run for 1 hour. If they exceed this amount of time, the charge will be prorated accordingly.
If you request any significant phone time between sessions, this will be prorated according to the 250.00/hr. fee for service. Depending on how well you can work together, how complicated or numerous your issues are, and whether you have minor children and will share custody; mediation can be completed in as little as 1 hour, or take multiple sessions to reach a mutually satisfying agreement. The overall cost will be in large part up to you.
For a free consult, contact Toni Coleman at or at 703-847-1768. All emails and calls will be held in the strictest confidence.
This page is for information on our divorce mediation services and should not be construed as legal advice.