Why mediation?

Mediation is a facilitated conversation, a trained neutral professional works with the parties to try to create a unique resolution to their situation. The mediator listens to the objectives and concerns of the parties, either together or separately and sorts out where there is common ground with the objective of crafting an agreement that fits their needs.  Mediation is confidential, voluntary (although frequently court ordered) and self-determined- only what the parties involved are willing to do to resolve their issues. Because it is less formal, a dialogue can allow the parties to work through their emotion and conflict to focus on the matters to be discussed. Solutions can be more creative and tailored to each family. Mediation can be a cost effective and productive process for many family systems issues, such as divorce, modifications to parent time, elder care, guardianship and probate matters.

What is the role of a mediator?

A Mediator is a neutral, third party. The mediator is not legal counsel, not a judge or a fact finder to determine who is right or wrong.  The mediator assists the parties by finding a pathway to a conversation they haven’t had yet and hopefully reach an agreement. If the parties do not have attorneys, a mediator can guide them through the legal issues that are common in a divorce, for example, property division, parent time and custody, child support, and debt division.

What does a mediator cost?

Christina Zavell Mediation charges an hourly rate of $140/hr typically split between the parties and due at the end of the mediation.   I do not charge travel fees although if a mediation is more than 60 miles away, a minimum may apply.  There is a four-hour minimum to mediate in Roosevelt and Vernal.  For clients, without attorneys, a one-hour deposit is required.

Who participates in a mediation?

The parties and their attorneys, if they are represented, attend the mediation.  Often times, the party may find bringing a support person is valuable to help them navigate their stress.  A support person is there to provide comfort but not to participate in the mediation.

What is the role of an attorney in mediation?

Attorneys frequently work with parties and provide legal counsel.  Mediators do not provide legal advice but will frequently work with the attorney and the client together to structure an agreement.  Mediation without legal counsel can be successful, but Christina Zavell Mediation, LLC will refer clients to an attorney to draft a legally binding agreement.   Parties always have a right to legal counsel and it is recommended that an attorney review any agreement before the parties make it legally binding.

How long does mediation take?

The length of mediation depends on the complexity of the issues, preparation of the parties and the people involved.  We schedule them a minimum block of 4 hours, because that is typically the time people are able to stay comfortable and focused.  Sometimes more than one session/meeting is necessary. Parties are only charged for the time actually spent mediating, unless there is a minimum hour requirement. Often, if the parties have reached an agreement, an attorney attending will draft a legally binding agreement for the parties to sign and that can take a little more time.