Mediation

“In what was the most difficult transition in my life thus far (divorce), Tasha was a professional, fair, and completely impartial mediator who knew when to push for progress and also when to sit back and listen.”

HOURLY MEDIATION

No retainer is required for mediation services.  Each time the parties meet with the attorney, they pay for the time used for that session.  The final agreement must be paid for before being provided to the parties, which is completed for a flat fee.  The overall cost depends on how quickly the parties are able to work towards resolution.  Hourly mediation is best suited for parties who want to move through the mediation process in stages and need ample time to try out parenting schedules, finalize asset changes, or consult with other professionals for resolution of complex issues involving CPAs, bankruptcy attorneys, and the like.

FLAT FEE MEDIATION

Flat fee mediation is paid upfront.  A basic mediation package provides for up to 2 1/2 hours of meetings, a Separation Agreement, Agreement to Change a Judgment, and other Court paperwork (Joint Petition, Affidavit of Irretrievable Breakdown, Vital Statistics Form, etc.).  This is a good option for a typical divorce or parenting case with some conflict but not particularly complex issues.  An enhanced mediation package is up for 4 hours of meetings, a Separation Agreement, Agreement to Change a Judgment (modification), and other Court paperwork.  The enhanced mediation package is better suited for cases involving business ownership, complex compensation structures, high conflict parenting or special needs issues, or multiple real estate holdings, as examples.  

VIRTUAL MEETINGS

Mediations can be held in person (suspended currently due to COVID-19), using Zoom, using Google Meet, or by phone.  Hours are currently flexible due to COVID-19 and include evenings and weekends to accommodate for easier scheduling.

Attorney Tasha Buzzell acts as a mediator in a range of family law cases from simple negotiation of a divorce that is almost settled to highly contested and complicated child custody situations.  Two types of mediation are available: uncontested mediation for a flat fee (generally up to 2 1/2 hours of meetings, drafting the Separation Agreement, and drafting all necessary court filings other than financial statements) and by-the-hour mediation.  See below for more information on these types of mediation.

Picking a mediator is important in determining whether mediation will work for your situation.  Every mediator has his or her own style, and Attorney Buzzell’s style is very hands-on and determined to get the parties talking, exchanging information, and working together to a resolution that they create.  From how to handle the valuation of a family business to when to introduce a new significant other, from dividing extensive debt or extensive assets, she has handled it.  Attorney Buzzell explains the disclosures the court expects parties in a divorce to make to each other, the various factors the court looks at in a case, and all of the groundwork necessary to explain to the parties that the distrust that often accompanies a divorce can be worked through with carefully managed and assisted discussion and information exchanges.  Attorney Buzzell is often appointed as a conciliator by the Bristol County Probate and Family Court for highly contested cases and has a track record of bringing parties to resolution, even one day prior to a long-awaited trial.

Mediation is worthwhile for parties for many reasons.  The cost is often far less than protracted litigation.  Flat fee packages provide a clear upfront cost.  The emotional toll is less, both because the parties have the opportunity to vent to each other and get the anger on the table, and also because they are the ones making the decisions about their finances and children rather than the Courts.  The time for resolving an issue is much shorter, rather than waiting for court dates and decisions from the Judge, and can be as quick as the parties can cooperate to make happen.  Mediation can also follow a slower process if the parties want, which is often used by parties to develop a parenting plan and test it out for a few months, or to begin separating real estate or business holdings in a staggered approach.

With a keen eye towards what the roadblock is, Attorney Buzzell guides mediation clients to resolutions that they create.  Once the parties have reached an agreement, Attorney Buzzell can draft their agreement so they can meet with their own attorneys for review or go directly to the Court to have it approved.

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