Family Tree Mediation

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Overview

Mediation: My hourly rate is $250 per hour for mediation services related to divorce, post-nuptial agreements, estate disputes and elder care.   

Corporate Trainings: My fee for corporate training, speaking engagements and coaching is $300 per hour.  

Coaching: My fee for couples work, individual communication coaching, family meeting facilitation among adult and minor members of the same household and work with families supporting young adults in their transition to independence is $200 per hour.

Sliding Scale: Reduced fees are available on a limited bases to couples who can demonstrate financial need as determined by Family Tree Mediation.

For mediation, there is no charge for first session if you decide not to contract with Family Tree Mediation.  This way there is no risk.  Even if you decide not to continue, you get the free benefit of gaining further understanding about the options available to you for resolving the dispute you are experiencing. To schedule an appointment, you can call me at (650) 762-TREE [762-8733] or email me using the email form on our Contact Us page.

More On Divorce Mediation

In a standard divorce mediation, the costs of obtaining your final Dissolution of Marriage Judgment fall into five parts: (1) the fee for the mediator's time during the mediation process, (2) the fee for the mediator's time drafting the marital settlement agreement, (3) the fee for assistance with the initial filings and required disclosures, (4) the fee for assistance with preparation and filing of the judgment and standard attachments, and (5) filing fees required by the court.  A sixth type of cost is sometimes required: the fees charged by experts required to appraise property, prepare and file more complex orders requiring attorney assistance, provide forensic accounting appraisals, or other provide any other type of service beyond the scope of mediation. 

1. Mediation Fee:  My fee for mediation is $250 per hour, payable at the end of each session.  

2. Marital Settlement Agreement Fee:  My fee for drafting the marital settlement agreement negotiated in the mediation is also $250 per hour, but I require payment up-front for 5 hours' work ($1,250).  In the event drafting an agreement does not require 5 hours work, I will refund the portion of the up-front payment not used.  If the agreement requires more than 5 hours to produce, I will either request another up-front payment  based on the estimated time needed to complete the agreement or I will require further payment at the same hourly rate, payable at the time the final agreement is provided.

3. Fee for Assistance with Petition and Response: I charge a $500 flat fee for assisting the mediating couple in preparation of the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and the Response.  I do not provide you legal advice in helping you fill out and file these forms, but only administrative assistance.  This assistance does, however, relieve you of the great majority of the work involved with preparing these initial filings.  As part of this assistance, I will also help each of you collect and organize the information required to make the required disclosures to the other and help you prepare and file the associated declaration concerning service of these disclosures.

4. Fee for Assistance with Judgment and Related Attachments:  I charge a $750 flat fee for assisting the mediating couple in preparation of the Dissolution of Marriage Judgment and various standard attachments.  However, this flat fee does not cover preparation of QDRO orders and a range of more complex motions and orders that, if desired, often merit the involvement of a specialist, whose fees will be additional to those charged by Family Tree Mediation.

5. Court Filing Fees Not Included.  Filing and other fees charged by the court are not covered by either the flat fees or hourly fees charged by Family Tree Mediation.  The mediating spouses will write checks covering such fees to be included with the documents to be filed by the mediator on behalf of the divorcing couple.

6.  Fees for Expert ServicesBeyond the Scope of Mediation Not Included.  Where the divorcing spouses choose to seek a QDRO or various other orders warranting legal help or where they seek the services of experts in valuing property or providing services beyond the scope of mediation, they will be responsible to pay the fees charged by the experts used.

Risk Free! There is no Charge for first session if you decide not to contract with Family Tree Mediation.  This way there is no risk.  Even if you decide not to continue, you get the free benefit of gaining further understanding about the divorce process and the options available to you. To schedule an appointment, you can call me at (650) 762-TREE [762-8733] or email me using the email form on our Contact Us page.

Advantages of Mediation

More Durable and Reliable Solutions: Mediation provides a safe and attentive space and process for each side to hear from the other the difficult things that often go unspoken in unmediated negotiations and that often are essential to reaching a wise and durable agreement. 

Party Control over Process and Outcome: In mediation the parties control whether they reach agreement and what its terms will be.  The parties are less likely to support the terms of a court-ordered solution they did not agree to or help craft. 

Bad Behavior Discouraged: As a collaborative process, mediation discourages bad behaviors common in litigation, such as concealing information, overstating one’s position, and causing the other side needless expense. 

Empowered by Personal Sense of Fairness: In mediation the parties can make their personal sense of fairness the most important factor determining the terms of their agreement.  In court, they are at the mercy of how the judge interpretats the law.

Establishes New Patterns for the Future: The mediator helps participants let go of unconstructive communication patterns in exchange for healthier patterns that can improve the family's ability to handle future problems.

Economical, Efficient and More Satisfying: In litigation, one risks increasing animosity in a drawn-out fight costing more in attorney fees than is in dispute.  Mediation, by contrast, often achieves mutually agreeable outcomes far more quickly at far less cost while helping heal old wounds.

Proactive Opportunities: Mediation may be used proactively to help parties better understand each other and so craft a creative agreement that will serve as a strong foundation for the future of their relationship. It is far better to talk about a conflict now than to live it later.

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Hank Edson Family Tree Mediation 72dpiHank Edson, J.D. 

Proprietor of Family Tree Mediation
Serving Redwood City, Atherton, Menlo Park, 
Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos 
and the wider Peninsula & San Francisco Bay Area. 

CALL: (650) 762-8733