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Do both parties have to agree to mediation?
Yes, as mediation only works when both parties agree to participate. Never assume that the other person won’t mediate as mediation is an excellent alternative to the judicial system and typically far less expensive.
How much does mediation cost?
Mediation may seem like a high up front cost but in reality it usually costs only a fraction of what litigation or collaborative law costs. As mediators, we do not collect a retainer fee and usually the fee is divided between the participants. We offer reduced rates for income eligible clients and we also offer follow up check in sessions at a reduced rate. Please contact us for further information regarding our rates.
What if the other person is unreasonable and I am afraid there is no chance for resolution?
Mediation is an empowering experience and although we cannot make any guarantees, in most cases mediation does work as it allows each party to have a voice and express their thoughts and concerns in a supportive environment.
Is mediation possible if we don't get along?
We have found that when the parties come with the common goal of finding resolution without the high cost of litigation, they are often able to put their differences aside for the mediation process to be effective. In some situations one or both parties feel more comfortable mediating in separate spaces. Although we encourage face to face mediation, mediating in separate spaces is an option and we can certainly accommodate this request if it is preferred.
Is mediation possible in cases of abuse / domestic violence?
When abuse or domestic violence is involved, mediation is not a reasonable process for resolution.
Can I bring someone into mediation?
From a mediator’s standpoint, we welcome anyone who can help make clients feel more comfortable to participate in the discussion and offer support. However, it is very important to understand that the goal is to address conflicts with the other party and if that “someone” brings more conflict to the session, having that person in the room could be counter-productive. It is possible that one of the ground-rules set in place by the participants is that no other parties (except attorneys if they are being used in the process) are allowed in the room.
Should I have legal representation?
Often times mediation resolutions are easier without attorneys present (there is also the financial benefit of not having an attorney present). However, since neutral mediators cannot give legal advice, clients may choose to bring legal counsel for that purpose. The choice to have representation is up to each individual client.
Will mediation work?
There are no guarantees, however our experience has shown that most parties have found mediation to be an effective way to resolve conflict. Not only is there the added financial savings benefit, but parties often walk away feeling like they had influence in the eventual outcome, something that is often missing during litigation. Many times the resolutions are made during the mediation process and other times the resolutions come after mediation through ongoing discussion between the two parties.
What if we can't agree on all issues?
It is not uncommon to walk away from mediation with one or two unsettled issues. A partial agreement can be prepared to summarize the resolved issues and the parties can return to mediation or choose to litigate any unresolved issues.
Will our agreement be enforceable?
It is important agreements be created in such a way that they are binding and therefore enforceable under law. It is ultimately up to the parties how to handle documenting agreements and they may opt to write their own Dissolution of Marriage document or hire an attorney or paralegal to assist with drafting a binding agreement.
How long is mediation?
Mediation is a service provided to the client. The length of the process is up to the parties and varies based on the complexity of the conflicts at hand. In many cases the process involves a free 20 minute consultation with each party followed by a 2 – 4 hour mediation session. It is more common than not that the initial mediation session is followed by additional sessions to complete the discussions needed to reach agreement.
What happens after mediation?
Through our own personal mediation experiences, our work through Hennepin and Ramsey Counties, and as mediators, we have found clients often encounter new conflicts that arise following mediation agreements and as a result are in need of ongoing support. To care for this, we offer follow up check-in sessions at discounted rates for our clients in need of additional mediation. An example of a common check-in session, is a recently divorced couple with a co-parenting schedule that is not working for one or both parties and a discussion is needed to determine modifications. Please contact us for more information regarding our check in sessions service.
Where can we mediate?
We strive to offer meeting locations convenient to our clients and offer multiple options across the Twin Cities. If one of our locations do not work for you, we are willing to travel to a destination that is more convenient for you (restrictions may apply).
* Due to COVID-19, we are currently only offering virtual sessions through Zoom.
Servicing the Twin Cities Minnesota metro area and western Wisconsin including the following cities; Andover, Anoka, Bethel, Blaine, Centerville, Circle Pines, Columbia Heights, Columbus, Coon Rapids, East Bethel, Fridley, Ham Lake, Hilltop, Lexington, Lino Lakes, Linwood Township, Nowthen, Oak Grove, Ramsey, Spring Lake Park, St. Francis, Bloomington, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Champlin, Chanhassen, Corcoran, Crystal, Dayton, Deephaven, Eden Prairie, Edina, Excelsior, Golden Valley, Greenfield, Greenwood, Hanover, Hopkins, Independence, Long Lake, Loretto, Maple Grove, Maple Plain, Medicine Lake, Medina, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Minnetonka Beach, Minnetrista, Mound, New Hope, Orono, Osseo, Plymouth, Richfield, Robbinsdale, Rockford, Rogers, St. Anthony, St. Bonifacius, St. Louis Park, Shorewood, Spring Park, Tonka Bay, Wayzata, Woodland, Afton, Bayport, Baytown Township, Birchwood, Cottage Grove, Dellwood, Denmark Township, Forest Lake, Grant, Grey Cloud Island Township, Hasting
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Zimecki Mediation • 5333 14th Avenue South • Minneapolis, MN 55417
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