Divorce mediation can be significantly less expensive than a court divorce, but it still requires payment. Before agreeing to a divorce or child custody mediation arrangement, be certain to discuss all aspects of the payment and fee policy with everyone involved in the process, including the mediator. In fact, the payment arrangement for your mediation should not only be discussed verbally, it should also be explained in writing within your mediation agreement.
There are several instances in which you should not pay your mediator. For example, it is unethical for a mediator to accept payment in exchange of a referral to another mediator or professional. It is also unprofessional for a mediator to collect full payment if the mediation process is not completed. If the mediator has been paid in full but the mediation process isn’t finished, the mediator is expected to pay back a portion of the fees. In addition, a mediator should never base a fee or payment on the outcome of the mediation or on the final settlement. Again, look for these provisions in your written mediation agreement before beginning the process.
An experienced Washington mediation attorney can help you review your mediation agreement and payment agreement to make certain that it is ethical and fair—and to ensure that it is in alignment with the accepted standards of practice. A mediation lawyer can also guide you through the entire process and protect your rights. To speak with a family law attorney at the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny, call 425-460-0550 to schedule a consultation.