As with clients that we represent individually, this relationship also begins with an initial meeting, except that both husband and wife meet together with Cynthia Fox. Typically, the meeting is held at Cindy’s office in Clayton, which is just one block from the St. Louis County Court House, although one of the parties may participate by telephone when it is impractical for him/her to attend in person.
The initial meeting usually lasts 45 minutes and provides the opportunity for both parties to learn how mediation works and what their roles, and the role of the mediator, will be. The prospective clients should bring any information they have that might be relevant. Each party will have the opportunity to discuss their perspective on the marriage, the prospective divorce and their goals and concerns as they start down the path toward dissolving their marriage. As with all clients, the couple can be completely confident that what each says will be held with the utmost confidentiality.
Both parties have to agree to mediate their divorce for the process to proceed. If, at any time, either spouse decides that they no longer want to participate, then the mediation comes to an end. In addition, each spouse may at any time retain separate legal counsel to advise on, or review, the work being accomplished in mediation.
The fee for an initial 45-minute meeting is $150.00, but this fee can be rebated against future fees under certain circumstances. (See Making An Appointment and Fees) Should both parties agree to initiate mediation, each spouse will be asked to sign a retainer agreement and pay an initial retainer. The couple will also agree as to how the fees are to be paid, although many couples agree to split them evenly. Personal checks, Master Card, Visa and Discover credit cards are all welcomed.
Cynthia Fox is an experienced, certified and court-approved divorce mediator, in addition to being an accomplished divorce attorney. As such, she is well-positioned to assist couples in identifying the issues that need to be resolved before the court will issue the decree, as well as working collaboratively with the couple to work through conflicts in resolving these issues. Once all the issues are resolved, Cindy will prepare all the final settlement documents that the couple will then present to the court.
Importantly, when Cynthia’s mediates a divorce she is prohibited from representing either party individually as their attorney. She only meets with the participants together.
Since every couple and every divorce is unique, any description of the divorce mediation process must be general. However, divorce mediation typically proceeds through the following milestones: