My Mediation Process

Once you schedule your first mediation session, you should expect each session to last approximately one and a half hours. The length is not precisely pre-determined because there is no way to know exactly where we will be as we approach the end of the session. If we are making good progress, or a breakthrough has occurred, I like to keep the momentum going and finish as much of the current topic as we possibly can. That would not be the occasion to hear: "Our time is up for today." This is why I keep the duration of each session flexible, aiming for an hour and a half, but often ending before or after that amount of time.

Appointments are scheduled every week, sometimes a little more or less frequently, depending on the clients' circumstances. Clients may communicate with me between sessions via telephone or e-mail so long as both spouses are privy to the communication at the time it is made. In other words, all communications should be made simultaneously to your spouse and me. When I respond to such communications, I respond simultaneously to both spouses. 

The sequence of sessions usually goes as follows:

First Session

If there are children of the marriage, we always begin with them first. I will explain the differences between the custody options under the law, inquire into your thoughts about the best parenting plan for your children, ask about any special needs of the children, and discuss each of your views about what plan would best accommodate them.

If you have no minor children, I will ask you to make a list of what you own, owe and earn.  You don’t need to prepare this list in detail, as that will come after the first session.  You just need a general list of these things along with their  approximate amounts/values to provide an overview from which to start the dialogue. Our first financial discussion will work off that list so that we can discern what each of you thinks and where each of you hopes to end up. DO NOT RESEARCH THIS ON LINE.  I want to know your thoughts on how you view a fair outcome and your wish-list; not some idea you picked up in a chat room or from your friend who was divorced last year.   By learning your thoughts, I gain some insight into where the areas of disagreement are, making it a little easier for me answer the question everyone wants to know when mediation begins.   How long will it take?  [See Frequently Asked Questions.]

Second session and beyond

Once we have resolved the parenting plan, which may require more than one session, we will cover child support, medical insurance for the children, and life insurance to protect the child support. 

We will begin to analyze the financial data with which you have been providing me from the beginning. We will do a comprehensive analysis of assets and liabilities, discussing how each of you views a fair settlement, and the legal parameters for it. This is usually the time when we would address the marital residence and how it should be handled. We will address whether your case is an appropriate one for spousal support, and if it is, for how long it should continue, and what amount should be paid. (Alimony is gender neutral, so it will be considered from the perspective of both spouses needing/paying it.)

During the next several sessions—or more—we will look at every single piece of your financial picture, from bank accounts, to real estate, to retirement accounts, to pensions, to stock portfolios, to patents, to family owned businesses, to automobiles, to household valuables, and more. We will also look at charge card debt, car loans and leases, and all other liabilities. In other words, there is nothing that is covered and addressed in a litigated divorce case that is not covered and addressed in a mediated divorce case.

Home-stretch session

If you have asked me to draft your Separation Agreement, this will be the session in which we will review it in detail. Once you have approved it, the final draft will be emailed to each of your review counsel and you will be asked to schedule an appointment with him or her for a review and analysis. 

The last session

Your last session with me is a surprise, but here is a hint.  I call it a dress-rehersal and there is no charge for it.  I want to prepare you to handle your divorce hearing without paying lawyers (or me) to attend the heaaring with you.  And I think if you are prepared for that day, you will feel comfortable and confident about facing your divorce hearing without lawyers.

I am always willing to attend the court hearing with my mediation clients if the dress rehearsal is not enough to prepare them, but no client has ever asked me to attend AFTER having the dress rehearsal afternoon with me.  The bill that would be incurred for my travel time, waiting time, and attendance during the hearing, would, in my opinion, not be worth the cost. But it is up to the client.  

After the last session

I always ask the clients to phone me after their court appearance is over before they head back to their office or home, and tell me how it went. 

What you can expect

Besides the sequence of topics covered above, you can also expect the following services and promises from me:

  • You can expect my full attention, my concern for you and your children, my awareness of what you are going through, and the best written documents I can prepare for you.
  • You can expect to have your phone calls returned promptly and your emails answered quickly.
  • You can expect my knowledge on the law to be current, and you can expect my honesty if there is something I don't know and need to look up before I can give you an answer.
  • You can expect that I will not do anything that deliberately stalls the progress of your case, and will do everything in my power to move you swiftly and cost-effectively to the final agreement that becomes the basis of your Separation Agreement.
  • You can expect me to guide you away from any discussions that will necessarily lead to an unfair result, that if left unchecked and unchallenged, would simply cost more time and money to re-negotiate once the inevitable unfairness or illegality was exposed.
  • You can expect that no unfair agreement will ever be written by me or released from my office, even if that means no agreement is written or released at all.
  • You can expect privacy and confidentiality.
  • You can expect to never run into another couple who is coming to or leaving a mediation session with me.
  • You can expect that no agreement will be reached in my office by one spouse bullying, intimidating, or threatening the other.
  • You can expect that each of you will equally like—and dislike—the compromise you reach in my office; but you can also expect that you will both agree it is fair.


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Areas in Connecticut Serviced by The Firm

Serving New Haven County, including Woodbridge, Guilford, Madison, Cheshire, Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Branford, Derby, East Haven, Hamden, Meriden, Middlebury, Milford, Naugatuck, North Branford, North Haven, Orange, Oxford, Prospect, Seymour, Southbury, Wallingford, Waterbury, West Haven, Wolcott, New Haven and the surrounding communities. Also serving Fairfield County, including Danbury, Easton, Westport, Weston, Fairfield, Bridgeport, Ridgefield, Redding, Newtown, New Fairfield, Sherman, Shelton, Trumbull, Brookfield, and Monroe.


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