Marjorie typically meets with each party separately for an initial intake and consultation. We are currently meeting clients online via Zoom or in person. This one-on-one confidential meeting is an opportunity for her to learn about each party’s situation without concern of the other party being present. This consultation allows Marjorie to educate the client on the mediation process simultaneously learning about his or her concerns and desired outcome. At the conclusion of this consultation, Marjorie is better able to develop a road map for how best to proceed with each new case.
Once both parties have concluded their initial consultations, Marjorie begins meeting with both parties typically in 2 hour blocks of time, usually every other week, or at a pace that is comfortable for the clients. When there are minor children, she begins working toward developing a Parenting Agreement. Once an agreement on parenting is reached, she will work with the parties toward a comprehensive financial agreement.
The cost of mediation depends on several factors. These include whether a case is pre-decree or post-decree, the complexity of the issues to be resolved and the extent to which outside professionals are needed. Marjorie charges an hourly rate, which is payable at the time of service. In addition, she takes a retainer that is used for all time spent outside of the mediation sessions and billed accordingly. Retainer amounts vary depending on the scope of work required for each individual case. Mediation provides a significant cost saving over litigation.
Marjorie requires each party to retain their own legal counsel. However, the parties are not required to have an attorney retained prior to the initial mediation session. She works with a number of mediation supportive attorneys throughout the Chicago area and is happy to provide referrals if needed. Although Marjorie is an attorney, she is unable to provide legal counsel in her role as a neutral. Each attorney will provide legal guidance to the parties so that they can better negotiate with knowledge of the law. The attorneys may attend attorney-assisted mediation sessions, however it is not required.