Avoid Court and Divorce With Dignity Through “No Attorney” Divorce
Hire ONE Mediator Instead of TWO Attorneys.
Romine Family Law & Mediation Center offers “Pro-Se Divorce by Mediation” (a “No Attorney” Divorce) to couples who want to avoid the cost and adversarial process of hiring two attorneys but need help in working out the details of a divorce. Pro-Se refers to parties who do not have attorneys. Most importantly, Pro-Se Divorce by Mediation helps couples preserve their dignity and their children’s one and only childhoods while they go through the difficult transition from marriage to co-parenting in separate homes.
What Does A Pro-Se Mediator DO?
A family law mediator is a neutral third party who is knowledgeable about family law and family dynamics and who helps couples collaborate towards the common goal of obtaining a divorce without the necessity of having attorneys or going to court. Also, with only a few exceptions, the mediator is capable of preparing all the documents necessary to take a new divorce from start to finish. The exceptions include legal documents such as Quitclaim Deeds, which the parties can complete with or without an attorney. While Carol is an attorney AND a registered mediator, she can never be both at the same time. An attorney has subpoena powers and must vigorously represent only one of the parties in a divorce. A mediator, on the other hand, has no subpoena powers and does not represent EITHER party in the divorce. Rather, the mediator has a responsibility to help couples reach a fair, equitable and legal agreement based on the documents the parties provide voluntarily.
Carol has twenty(20) years of family law and mediation experience and will use her extensive knowledge of family law during the mediation process. However, while she can tell both spouses what the law SAYS, she cannot give either of them legal “advice.”
Are There Other Services Available in Pro-Se Mediation?
Yes. The divorcing couple will have access to other professionals for an additional fee if they participate in the Pro-Se Divorce by Mediation process. Carol has teamed up with Divorce Coaches (psychologists, counselors, etc.) who help divorcing couples learn how best to communicate with each other and their children as they go through this life-changing transition. Fees vary and are determined by the professional person retained. Divorce Coaches are also available to give children a “voice” in the divorce process if parents feel the need for such help. Other professionals available to the Pro-Se Divorce by Mediation participants include financial advisors, forensic accountants, mortgage experts, Realtors and others who may be of help to divorcing couples.
Is Divorce by Mediation Appropriate For Everyone?
No! While most couples could avoid spending thousands of dollars on an unnecessarily adversarial process, there are some individuals who simply must have the representation of a family law attorney. Families who will most likely require legal representation are those who have experienced physical abuse between the parties, those in which either party has been diagnosed with a personality disorder, or those in which either party believes the other is hiding assets.
Tips from a Hamilton County Family Law Mediator
What Does Pro-Se Divorce by Mediation Cost?
The process is so new to Indiana that there are no statistics upon which to determine an average cost. Based on her recent experience in pro-se mediation, however, Carol can report that her pro-se mediation clients will spend significantly less than they would in a divorce with two attorneys.
In the Pro-Se Divorce by Mediation program, the parties pay an initial retainer that is based on the complexity of the case. They generally run between $1500.00 and $5,000. These funds are used at the rate of $250.00 per hour to cover the cost of:
1) gathering and organizing financial information,
2) face to face meetings, emails and phone calls, and
3) preparing the court documents and exhibits necessary to initiate and finalize the divorce.
Any funds remaining in this account at the conclusion of the case will be returned to the couple as a refund. In the event the funds are depleted before the work is completed, the couple will replenish the account with additional retainers as is necessary. The total cost will depend on the amount of time needed to reach agreements.
Meet with a Hamilton County Family Law Mediator today!
How Many Meetings Are Held in a Pro-Se Mediation?
There are as many sessions as the couple needs. If there are children, there will be an early mediation to determine the temporary matters of who is living where, who is paying what bills, and who has the children when. A later mediation session, or a series of mediation sessions, if necessary, will be used to determine a final division of the marital estate and a permanent parenting plan.
What if the Pro-Se Mediation is Unsuccessful?”
Either spouse or the mediator may terminate the mediation process at any time. In such event, each spouse will have a complete set of the pleadings, exhibits, and other documents prepared and organized by the mediator so that future attorneys will not have to duplicate the work.
Carol offers free consultations about the “no attorney” process and will schedule flexible appointments in order to accommodate your work schedule. Schedule your FREE consultation today.