If your case does not settle at Early Settlement Panel, you are required to attend a mediation session with a mediator, either from the approved list of mediators or any other mediator. If you choose a mediator from the approved list, the first two hours are free. The first hour is used by the mediator to read and analyze the issues in your case from your attorney’s submission, and the second hour is an in-person meeting with both parties and the mediator. Anything beyond two hours is paid for by the parties.
This is another excellent opportunity to settle your case. You have the ear of a highly experienced matrimonial attorney, as mediator, whose job is to try to close the bridge between you and your spouse on open issues. It is done at the mediator’s office where you might be altogether in one room for discussions of the issues, or you may be in separate rooms wherein the mediator will go back and forth in an attempt to settle your issues.
If the case cannot settle in one session, you can always make a second (or third or fourth) appointment if you believe it will be helpful.
You must always keep in mind the costs of litigation if you can’t settle. This opportunity is important to explore before your attorneys start preparing for a trial.