Frequently Asked Questions

What does it cost?

We provide a free initial 30 minute private consultation in our office.

All sessions last 1 hour.

The first telephone consultation is free.

How often do we meet?

Couples can determine their own pace when scheduling appointments. We provide clear instructions as to what needs to be accomplished between sessions to assure that each session is productive.  Sessions with mediators usually occur once a week or once every two weeks.

Does someone have to pay child support?

The State of Connecticut has guidelines that determine whether someone must pay child support and, in some cases, how much.

Does someone have to pay spousal support (or alimony)?

The State of Connecticut has no formula for calculating spousal support. The court considers many factors when deciding whether one spouse must pay spousal support to another, the amount of such support, and how long it should be paid. Some factors include age, health, occupation, amount and sources of income, work skills and employability, and the needs of each spouse.

Our mediators help the individuals consider all relevant factors and negotiate an agreement that allows both spouses to thrive in the future.

What are the benefits of Divorce Mediation v. Litigation?

Our mediators understand the long term benefits of resolving disputes amicably. Our mediators look for the common ground between spouses and build on it. Litigation tends to be bitter and destructive. Our mediators work to help preserve goodwill between husband and wife as they go their separate ways.

Divorce mediation is very cost effective as compared to litigation. Divorce mediation is typically just a fraction of the cost of litigating a divorce. Divorce mediation keeps more of the family’s resources in the family’s pockets.

Divorce mediation is less time consuming than litigation resulting in less time missed from work and less time away from the children. When mediating a divorce, clients may only need to go to court twice, once to file their paperwork and once for their final hearing. Litigation can result in numerous court appearances.

Divorce mediation is less stressful than litigation. Our mediators create an atmosphere that is calm and safe where clients can freely express what they would each like to see happen as they move forward with their lives. Our mediators guide negotiations, giving each party time to process proposals from the spouse.

Is an attorney required when mediating a divorce?

No. An attorney is not required when mediating a divorce. However, individuals never waive their right to have an attorney involved. The decision regarding whether or not to have an attorney involved is completely up to the individual.

I have been served by my spouse. Is divorce mediation still possible?

Yes. Our mediators have assisted couples through the divorce process even when one person has been served with divorce papers. The couple may learn about divorce mediation after service has taken place and together they make the decision to move forward through mediation rather than litigation.

We both have attorneys. Can we still mediate our divorce?

Yes. When using divorce mediation services, an individual never waives his or her right to have an attorney. At the Divorce Mediation Center of CT, LLC, we have assisted many couples through the divorce mediation process who have also consulted with attorneys during the process.

What are the court’s fees for divorce?

Currently, the court’s fee for filing a Divorce Complaint is $360.00.

How long does the divorce mediation process take?

The time it takes to mediate your divorce in Connecticut depends on the clients ability to reach a settlement agreement.  Although, there is a ninety (90) day statutory cooling off period in Connecticut, the clients can file a Motion to Waive Statutory Time Period and go before the judge for a final hearing before the ninety (90) days passes.

What is the parenting education program and what does it cost?

The Parenting Education Program is a six (6) hour class required by the State of Connecticut for divorcing parents who have a child or children under the age of eighteen (18) years. The class will provide parents with important information on how to help children adjust to the transition of divorce. The cost of the program is currently $125.00 for each parent.

My spouse and I barely talk. Can mediation work for us?

Yes. At the Divorce Mediation Center of CT, LLC, our mediators have helped many couples through divorce who began the process barely speaking to one another. The Divorce Mediation Center has created Ground Rules which provide a structure to the session that promotes respect and courtesy.
Our mediators are trained to facilitate communication and agreements between individuals even when they have a difficult time sitting in the same room.

My spouse now lives out of state. Can we still mediate our divorce?

As long as the State of Connecticut has jurisdiction, you can mediate your divorce in Connecticut. Our mediators will assist you in determining whether or not the State of Connecticut has jurisdiction.

My spouse controls all the finances. Can mediation work for us?

Yes. In all couples, the family responsibilities are divided and it is not uncommon for one spouse to handle the finances. Our mediators are experienced in addressing any power imbalance that exists between the parties. The Divorce Mediation Center of CT, LLC, has a vast network of referral sources including accountants, mortgage lenders, financial planners, insurance professionals, and therapists that can empower and educate clients. Our mediators have helped couples create financial agreements that they both felt were fair and in their best interest.

My spouse has made all the parenting decisions. Can we still mediate?

Yes. In some families, one parent tends to make the majority of parenting decisions. Our mediators are skilled at helping both parents become empowered and educated including offering resources that consist of family educators and literature on parenting. The Divorce Mediation Center of CT, LLC, helps parents create a parenting plan that is in the best interest of their children.

What type of issues can be addressed in divorce mediation?

Our mediators will address the following issues with you and your spouse on issues affecting the children such as:

  • Visitation schedule
  • Religious upbringing
  • Decisions regarding school and daycare
  • Summer and Weeklong vacation schedules
  • Holiday schedule
  • Birthday celebrations
  • Child Care
  • Introduction of new significant other
  • Counseling needs
  • Behavior Management
  • Health care
  • Mobility
  • Travel

Our mediators will address the following issues with you and your spouse regarding your financial settlement:

  • Payment of the children’s health care premiums and unreimbursed medical expenses
  • Payment of the children’s extracurricular activities
  • Child support
  • Spousal Support
  • Retirement Assets
  • Family home and any other real estate
  • Personal Property including motor vehicles
  • Life Insurance
  • Health Insurance for the adults
  • Disability Insurance
  • Business Interests
  • Debts
  • Taxes
  • Education expenses for children
  • Pet expenses

What if we can’t reach an agreement on a specific matter? What happens then?

Our mediators are experienced in helping couples reach agreements that are emotionally difficult and financially complicated. Our mediators begin the settlement discussion by asking each party to state what he or she would like to see happen, financially, as they each move forward. The mediators point out the common ground between individuals’ “wish list”. Our mediators will also present financial scenarios and encourage couples to seek professional guidance from outside experts. With this information, having listened to one another in a session, a greater understanding develops between the parties and agreements are reached.

Are divorce agreements reached in mediation legal?

Yes. Agreements reached in divorce mediation that are made orders of the court are legally enforceable.

Do the mediators come to court with us?

No, the mediators do not accompany you to court. Our mediators will prepare you to know what to expect when you do go to court for your final hearing.

Our divorce was finalized a year ago. Can we mediate a new agreement?

Yes. At the Divorce Mediation Center of CT, LLC, our mediators help couples reach agreements on issues that arise after they are divorced, or what is called “post judgment”.

We never got married and we have a child together. We don’t want to be together anymore. Can you help us?

Yes. Our mediators have assisted couples who were never married reach parenting and/or financial agreements that are fair and are in the best interests of the child and parents. These agreements can be brought to court and become legally enforceable.