Mediation is the most sane and civilized pathway to a good divorce settlement.
In mediation, you and your spouse will negotiate the terms of your separation in a safe, cooperative, and constructive way. Mediation is an opportunity for you to talk about and plan for the future without becoming stuck in the past. You’ll settle all of your financial issues. You’ll make a parenting plan that makes sense for your children. And you will do this without the conflict and expense associated with lawyers and litigation. Less conflict means less stress on you and your children.
We understand what you are going through. Separation and divorce are hard. You and your spouse must assume new roles and responsibilities with respect to each other and your kids. Mediation provides a safe place for you to renegotiate these relationships.
Frequently asked questions about mediation
Mediation is a process in which a neutral expert helps you resolve all issues related to the dissolution of your marriage. Unlike a judge or arbitrator, the mediator does not make decisions for the parties. Instead, the mediator guides the parties through a negotiation toward a settlement. The mediator helps identify issues, eliminate communication barriers, and evaluate possible solutions.
It’s faster, cheaper, more convenient, and less stressful than the alternatives. Plus, you get to decide what happens to your money and what’s best for your children.
Most cases can be successfully mediated in 3-6 sessions occurring over a few weeks. To keep things manageable, we usually work in blocks of 2 hours. We will ask you to do some homework between sessions. This typically involves gathering information and thinking about your proposals. The more prepared you are, the faster you’ll reach a resolution.
Mediation occurs in private, and you and your spouse can agree to keep matters discussed and your agreements confidential.
Also, we as your mediators cannot disclose what you tell us in mediation, except in very limited circumstances. This provides you with the opportunity to have a frank and open discussion about what you both need to be financially secure.
Mediation focuses on the needs and interests of both spouses. We discourage making threats or demands and positional bargaining. As experienced divorce mediators, we will maintain a calm, cooperative environment, even if your relationship is strained. As a result of mediation, over time the two of you may be able to turn a negative relationship into a positive one. This is especially important if you have children.
The short answer is that it depends on you. We bill hourly for time spent in mediation, reviewing documents, and summarizing information and agreements you reach. There’s no retainer; you pay as you go. You can commit to mediation one session at a time and can stop if it is not working for you. For your convenience, we accept major credit cards, as well as checks.
You can do things to reduce your costs. The more work you do between sessions, such as gathering, organizing, and accurately summarizing financial records, the faster you will proceed through mediation.
You do not need a lawyer to mediate. In most cases we handle, unless mediation has been court-ordered, lawyers typically do not attend and do not negotiate on behalf of the parties.
However, we do recommend that you hire attorneys and consult with them during the process. As mediators, we cannot advise you about how a judge might decide your case. Also, we cannot draft your separation agreement or prepare divorce pleadings. A lawyer can help you with these things, and we can recommend some who will do so for a reasonable fee.
During initial phone calls and at the orientation session, we carefully screen each case to determine if mediation is appropriate. Generally, mediation is not appropriate in cases involving abuse or where one party has a motive other than negotiating a settlement in good faith. In addition, we reserve the right to end mediation if one party tries to dominate the negotiation or improperly influence the decisions of the other, or if a proposed agreement seems unconscionable.
Choosing the right mediator is essential for a successful result.
We’re committed to being the most effective divorce mediators in the Triangle. Here are some things that we think set us apart.
Sean and Gina Vitrano work as a mediation team. It’s a fact that men and women communicate differently. Remember “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus?” Husbands and wives have different perspectives regarding their marital relationship, how to parent children, and how to manage the physical, emotional, and financial aspects of separation and divorce. Having mediators of both genders present promotes better overall communication.
A successful negotiation depends upon both of you understanding the other’s needs and interests, as well as your own. Accordingly, we’ll help you hear your partner — even if both of you are angry or upset — and we’ll help your partner hear you.
We focus exclusively on helping spouses resolve issues related to their marriage out of court. Our work has helped hundreds of couples come up with parenting and financial agreements that work well in the real world. Additionally, we regularly attend advanced continuing mediator education and continuing legal education for family law attorneys. And we serve as trainers and mentors for other mediators, as well as leaders in organizations that teach and promote dispute resolution.
Mediation can be scheduled around your schedules, including in the evening and on Saturdays. Many couples find this convenient because they are juggling work and child care obligations.
In-person and Video Mediation
Although we prefer to meet with you in our Wake Forest office, we are also happy to conduct mediations by Zoom or Google Meet video conference.