“I’m John Butler, and after 20 years as a mediation attorney, I have developed a specific process to help couples who have decided divorce is the only solution to their situation. It is called Virtual Divorce Mediation, and I offer this process to couples across the United States.
My process allows couples to reach a settlement without having to meet face-to-face in an office or even speak with one another. They do not even need to appear in Court. I work with both parties in a confidential, cost-effective manner using the phone and the Internet.
This approach removes much of the friction and emotions that hamper effective discussions. Plus, it saves time and thousands of dollars as opposed to the traditional, court-centered process.
Having spoken at seminars on conflict resolution, trained other attorneys in mediation, and worked intimately with many hundreds of clients, I am convinced my Virtual Mediation process represents the next step for divorcing couples. Isn’t it time you looked into how Virtual Mediation might work for you? “
Steps in My Virtual
Divorce Mediation Process
Setting up the process – I speak with each party over the phone, either together or separately according to their preference. I answer any questions they have about the process and my expertise as applied to their case. The parties each decide they would like to try mediation, and they are choosing me as their mediator. I send both parties, via email, our mediation retainer agreement which describes the scope of matters to be resolved. It also explains confidentiality, my hourly fees and other minor details. Both parties sign and return it.
They send, via an electronic bank transfer service such as PayPal, Google Wallet or similar service, the initial retainer for one mediation session. My services are a la cart. We then schedule the first session.
Mediation Sessions – My mediation sessions are typically two hours long. Virtual Mediation uses technology such as telephone conference calls, email and the internet to manage the process. Your location or that of your spouse is not relevant.
Depending on the issues involved, we may solve the entire case in one session or only focus on the most time-critical matters. At the end of the first session we discuss plans and costs for future services. Each person independently communicates with me their decision about whether they want to continue with mediation. If both parties do, then I bill them for the next session, they pay the retainer and we schedule it. Fees are typically much lower than the traditional divorce process, possibly saving you thousands of dollars.
Gathering Information – In the meantime, the parties may need to organize data for some aspects of their case. This might involve disclosing documentation and other background data to one another (if they have not already done so) as to current values of their assets (value of cars, homes, and retirement accounts), credit card balances, mortgage amounts, and so forth.
Creating Documents – At some point, the parties decide to file the legal paperwork for a divorce. They may have already filed it, they may decide to file the papers themselves or they may ask me to help them. Again, my services are a la carte. If we file the papers, when they are returned by the Court, I serve both parties and that commences the “interlocutory” six-month waiting period before a divorce can become final.
Likewise, at some point the parties come to an agreement on all major items needed for an uncontested divorce. They may ask me to memorialize their agreement (commonly known as a Marital Settlement Agreement or MSA) or they may decide to write it up themselves. Once the MSA is drafted, each party has an opportunity to review it and, if they choose, to have an independent attorney review it as well. They communicate their questions and suggestions to me and to one another. We then come up with a final version of their MSA that satisfies both parties as to clarity and accuracy regarding the terms of their agreement.
Court Approval – At some point, the other legal paperwork for an uncontested divorce gets drafted and circulated via electronically so that they can sign it and return it to me. I then compile all of this with the MSA and submit it to the Court for the Judge to approve it.
From this point forward, all that remains is for the legally mandated waiting period to pass and the divorce is final. You would never need to appear in Court.
Read What Clients Have Said
About My Virtual Mediation Process
I would definitely recommend you to anyone going through a divorce. You made the transition of the end of our long term marriage go smoothly….you were very helpful in all our questions and issues we couldn’t deal with on our own.
In my divorce, my ex had moved out of state and we used John as our mediator via phone and email. He did a very good job at helping us maintain progress on a number of complex issues that needed to be resolved so that we ended things amicably and fairly.
With John’s skillful mediation and diligence, we quickly moved through the final stages of our divorce process; support, house buyout, visitation and so forth, We had a final agreement reviewed and signed within 3 weeks of retaining John’s services.
John Butler is a professional mediator who I trust completely. Two women in my life who are very dear personal friends were attempting to negotiate divorce settlements with their spouses. Each situation included a great deal of emotional turmoil, the litigation costs were staggering and the situation had reached an ugly stalemate.