As a potential mediation client, you and your spouse can hope for and reasonably expect, a relatively smooth process, as long as both parties stay of the same mindset and goal…that being a peaceful and non-confrontational resolution to your matrimonial disputes.
When you decide to work with Steven E. Shumer, of Berger, Fischoff, Shumer, Wexler & Goodman, LLP, as your chosen divorce mediator, you can anticipate the following steps in the process:
First, you will be entitled to a free consultation during which Mr. Shumer will outline a schedule of what to anticipate in the process.
Second, if you retain Berger, Fischoff, Shumer, Wexler & Goodman, LLP to serve as your chosen divorce mediation firm, a basic intake will be completed by Mr. Shumer providing the firm with “pedigree” information about you and your spouse, your assets, your children, etc. You will then each be provided financial disclosure statements to return to the firm after completion and execution.
Third, Mr. Shumer will then evaluate the information received through the intake process and the financial disclosure forms and will create a written “Mediation Outline” which will detail the specific facts of your marriage and your family, outstanding information needed, matters believed to be in dispute, and matters believed to be resolved. You and your spouse will then be provided the “Mediation Outline” to review and comment on before the next step in the process.
Fourth, from this step forward, the negotiation and process becomes very fluid. Some parties need to have numerous meetings to narrow the issues in dispute while others require only a one or two in-person meetings or out-of-office communications to come to resolutions under Mr. Shumer’s supervision.
Fifth, once terms are agreed upon in principle, Mr. Shumer will then draft and present a proposed Mediation Settlement Agreement for you and your spouse to review and provide comments to. Changes will be made as agreed upon.
Sixth, before signing the Mediation Settlement Agreement, you and your spouse are given the opportunity to take the draft to counsel of your own choosing to review and discuss its contents and propose any changes before formally signing the binding agreement. In many cases, the parties do not wish to expend the additional money of a private attorney review and have the right to waive that option and execute the agreement under Mr. Shumer’s supervision. In this case, each party would have to verify in writing that they have had the agreement reviewed or that they are aware of, but waive the right to do so.
Seventh, the agreement is signed and you and your spouse are deemed officially “legally separated”.