Agreement To Mediate
The undersigned parties, having decided to divorce, have decided to mediate their pending divorce matter and intend to attempt to resolve through mediation the controversies arising out of their divorce. The parties intend to avoid for themselves and their family the bitterness and frustration which often accompany these matters. The undersigned parties intend to create, through mediation, an agreement that settles the issues in their pending divorce.
Mediation is a non-adversarial process which is most effective if the parties agree to certain guidelines. Therefore, the parties agree:
1) Fault and Blame. To the extent possible, leave fault and blame aside. Accusations only hinder the process and are not relevant to the issues to be discussed in mediation. Mediation differs from litigation in that the parties, with the assistance of the mediator, reach their own agreement. The mediator will not make decisions for the parties. The mediator will lead the negotiations and assist the parties in reaching a decision which is acceptable to them.
2) Responsibility. Accept responsibility for yourself. State what you want and need. Include your intent, reasons and feelings. This helps facilitate the process.
3) Lawyers. Although this mediator is an attorney, Julie A. Palmer is not acting in the capacity of an attorney and does not offer legal advice. The parties each have his or her competent attorney who will participate in the mediation and who will provide legal advice to his or her client.
4) Consultants. Persons other than the mediator, such as accountants, tax advisors, actuaries and other specialists, may be called for consultation when the parties agree to their being called and agree to their rate of compensation. The parties may use any consultants of their own at any time, at their expense. The parties accept responsibility for the tax consequences of the agreement and acknowledge that they have been advised to have their own lawyer, accountant or other tax advisor review the agreement and advise them properly.
5) Caucus. Depending on the circumstances and the needs and desires of the parties and their respective counsel, the mediator may begin by meeting jointly with the parties. However, during the process, the mediator may wish to meet with each party alone. This is called a “caucus” and is a regular part of mediation practice. The caucus is a time when a party may share information with the mediator in confidence. It will not be revealed to the other party if the mediator is asked to keep the information confidential.
6) Full Disclosure. By signing this agreement, each party is affirming that he or she will fully disclose all assets and liabilities. Each party is further affirming that neither will transfer nor dispose of any real or personal property during the mediation process without the consent of the other party.
7) Costs of Mediation. Mediation shall be conducted by Julie A. Palmer, and she shall be compensated at the rate of $150.00 per hour for hours spent conducting mediation sessions or in working on behalf of the parties to achieve the goals of mediation, including telephone calls, work on drafting agreement(s), and the like. The initial retainer is $600.00 and this amount must be paid prior to the date set for mediation.
Unless otherwise informed, the mediator will assume that the parties are paying one-half each of the costs of mediation. Please advise immediately if other arrangements for payment of the mediation have been made, ordered by the Court, or agreed to by and between the parties.
Additional fees charged by the mediator shall be billed as set forth above, unless otherwise informed by counsel.
8) Confidentiality. The mediation process is confidential and privileged and constitutes settlement negotiations. The parties agree that neither will call the mediator as a witness, nor any employee nor agent of hers to testify, nor subpoena any records, notes or documents of hers in any matter related to the mediation. The mediator will not willingly testify for or against either party involved. Both parties, by executing this document, agree that any statements made by the parties or the mediator are inadmissible in future mediation, arbitration or court proceedings. The parties will keep the confidentiality of the mediation and not introduce in any later proceeding statements made by the mediator nor the parties.
9) Privacy. The mediator will treat all information provided during mediation sessions as confidential. No information obtained during mediation will be given to any outside person or organization unless both parties concur, or unless there is a legal duty to report. All matters which may involve a duty to report will be reported to the proper authorities.
10) Release. The parties acknowledge that the mediator, Julie A. Palmer, is an attorney at law, licensed to practice in the State of Alabama. However, the mediation services provided by her do not include legal, financial nor counseling services. The parties agree that they will not rely upon the mediator for legal advice or representation and they understand that the mediator is not in any manner liable for the results of the mediation.
By signing this agreement, the parties agree to work in good faith towards resolution of all disputed issues.
Counsel for Wife: ___________________________________
Counsel for Husband: ______________________________
Mediator: __________________/s/ Julie A. Palmer_______ Date:__June 1 , 2018____