In most divorce mediations that Kales & Kales conducts, we utilize the co-mediation model. A co-mediation is a mediation that utilizes two mediators to help the parties reach a divorce settlement agreement. At our firm, those mediators are Jonathan and Amy Kales, the husband and wife team that makes up Kales & Kales.
Why co-mediation? Why is it better for divorcing couples?
Co-mediation can speed up the mediation process because two heads are often better than one. For instance, one mediator can jot down notes on a flip chart while the other mediator leads the discussion. Or, if there’s a need to caucus (meet separately) with the spouses, one mediator can meet with the wife, while the other meets with the husband, instead of the spouses meeting one after the other with a single mediator. Or, 1 mediator may have time sooner than the other to draft a divorce settlement agreement.
Co-mediators can charge more than individual mediators. However, at Kales & Kales, we charge at just Jonathan Kales’ hourly rate (i.e., the rate of one lawyer/mediator) for co-mediation. If you combine this with the efficiency of co-mediation, you could wind up paying less than if you retained a solo mediator.
In co-mediation, when one mediator is male and the other is female, this can help to lessen the possibility that one spouse will think the other has an advantage because the mediator is the same gender of that other spouse. At our firm, because all co-mediations are conducted by Jonathan and Amy Kales, each spouse always has a mediator of his or her same gender.
It can be challenging for one mediator to observe everything that’s happening during a mediation session. With co-mediators in the room, the odds increase that details aren’t missed.
By observing the co-mediators, spouses can learn how to better communicate with one another in their negotiations.