Avoid Court and Divorce With Dignity Through “No Attorney” Divorce
Hire ONE Mediator Instead of TWO Attorneys.
Indiana Divorce Mediation LLC 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 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 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 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 many 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 would hide assets or otherwise mediate in bad faith.
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 even if they don’t go to court.
In the Pro-Se Divorce by Mediation program, the parties pay a flat fee that is determined during a free consultation. Our fees range from $2,500.00 to $4,500.00. These funds pay for the following services:
1. Two to three 2-hour mediation sessions (or more if the clients require), for the purpose of determining preliminary (temporary) and final agreements,
2. help create agreements that are fair and equitable, and consistent with Indiana Law,
3. help clients draft initiating documents, which include:
i: Appearances for both parties,
ii: Not for Publice access Form,
iii: Verified Petition for Dissolution of Marriage,
iv: Waiver of service, and
v: Appointment of Mediator,
4. help clients determine county-specific rules for court filings,
5. drafting exhibits such as the Child Support and Marital Estate Worksheets,
6. drafting and e-filling court documents, which include:
i: Preliminary agreement,
ii: Waiver of Final Hearing,
iii: Dissolution settlement Agreement
iv: Proposed Decree of Dissolution of Marriage
7. e-filling court documents (including parenting class certificates)
Meet with a 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.