In most cases, the cost of mediation is split by the parties 50/50. This can be negotiated during mediation, but in most cases, sharing the cost of mediation equally is the most equitable and favorable way to proceed.
Danielle Pond is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator, certificate #39929 F. She also holds an MA in Communications, an MS in Marriage and Family Therapy, and has completed Florida’s required family mediation training program, and a number of mediation observation sessions. However, she is not an attorney and cannot offer legal advice. And mediation services do not constitute therapy in any way. To date Danielle has mediated over 300 cases and she is contracted with the 3rd, 4th and 5th Judicial Circuits to handle court-ordered mediations through the Family Mediation Unit.
Virtual mediation via Zoom is $125/hour/party ($250/hour total). There is a 2-hour minimum on any booking + $100 administration fee. We will email you a link from Chase bank to pay by credit/debit card at the end of the session. Or, you may pay via Zelle to Danielle@pondfamilymediation.com or Venmo to @pondfamilymediation. Most clients prefer virtual mediation because it's more convenient and you can be in a setting where you are comfortable and avoid any interaction with the other party.
Most cases can be settled in the 3-hour block we offer on the schedule. However, mediation can also be broken up into more than one day or you may book 2 sessions back to back if you feel you need the extra time. Each mediation session requires the same 2-hour minimum plus $100 admin fee. All time used over your 2-hour minimum will be rounded up to the nearest quarter hour.
For all bookings, we collect a $125 deposit upfront (from both parties to equal your first hour of mediation $250) to hold your mediation session date/time, and the remainder will be collected at the end of the mediation. This deposit goes toward your mediation session fee. All clients may pay via Venmo or request a payment link from Chase bank to pay with a credit or debit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover). As mediation is typically split, each party should be prepared to pay for their half of the mediation at the end of the session with a credit or debit card.
The fee is inclusive of the face-to-face time we spend together (virtually) and the document preparation if it can be completed during the session. If you both agree to the terms of your settlement during mediation, once that portion of the session is concluded and my obligation as your neutral mediator is finished, I can assist you in completing the required documents and family law forms you'll need to file your case so at the end you'll be all done! For pro se cases, we may charge 1-4 additional hours for the preparation of the Mediated Settlement Agreement (MSA) if it is longer or more complicated than usual and requires extra time. This will be billed after mediation and must be paid in full before the Mediated Settlement Agreement and other filing forms are delivered. In most cases, however, the settlement and other filing forms will be finished and delivered the same day as your session.
Mediation can be rescheduled up to 48-hours in advance without penalty. If either party does not reach out to reschedule the mediation in time, both parties will forfeit the $125 upfront deposit. If either party does not show up to mediation as scheduled, only that party will forfeit their deposit and will have to pay it again to rebook the session. Each party in a mediation session must pay a separate $125 deposit to ensure equal responsibility and participation. There is a two-hour minimum to book any mediation session. All mediations include an additional $100 administration fee. If your case is court-ordered or you already have a case number, the mediator can eFile your MSA, Child Support Guidelines and Outcome of Mediation Conference documents on your behalf. As the mediator is not an attorney, she cannot eFile a Final Judgement or any other documents on your behalf. The mediator does not represent any party.
No. You can absolutely file an uncontested divorce or modification action on your own with a mediated settlement. However, there are some caveats to consider. As a Certified Family Mediator, Danielle Pond is not an attorney and is not allowed to give any legal, financial, property settlement, or other advice. So, you should still consider your situation and if an attorney to represent you at mediation may be in your best interests. Please review the Terms of Service page carefully if you are considering not using an attorney.
You should ONLY bring yourself and your attorney to mediation. Please, do not bring your new significant other, children, parents, siblings, friends, or anyone else. This is a difficult process, and additional emotions and opinions only exacerbate the situation. Also, both parties must agree to anyone other than the other party and his/her attorney being in mediation with them by law, so consider this strongly before you bring anyone else with you.
Do have your attorney present if you have retained council. If you are going pro se (representing yourself), please review the Terms of Service page carefully, as representing yourself comes with additional risk and personal liability. Please review the Pro Se Help page for more information on mediating without an attorney.
If you or the other party has a hearing, speech, vision, or other disability that requires special consideration, please notify us at the time of booking so that accommodations can be set up in advance.
We hold mediation sessions virtually via Zoom video conferencing software. Learn more about virtual mediation sessions below.
Please email Danielle@PondFamilyMediation.com if you run into any technical difficulties. Most attorneys are very familiar with Zoom now also, so your attorney should also be able to assist you.
Great! Settling out of court is the ideal situation and our goal. If the parties reach an agreement on all issues, you or your attorney(s) can file a Mediated Marital Settlement Agreement along with the required family law forms to file the case uncontested. If you both agree to the terms of your settlement during mediation, once that portion of the session is concluded and my obligation as your neutral meditor is finished, I can assist you in completing the required documents and family law forms you'll need to file your case so at the end you'll be all done!
After booking your mediation date/time, the following steps will occur:
Absolutely. Family mediation is helpful for any family-related disputes including pre and post divorce issues such as contempt charges, modification of time sharing and/or child support, adoption. pre or postnuptial agreements, etc.
This is a very common concern. And yes, you can and should use mediation to create a time-sharing plan for your children and equitably settle any shared assets or property, even if you were never married. This protects both of your rights to fair time with your shared children. Watch a short video about this topic now.
Yes! We do offer evening and weekend mediation or consultation appointments upon request. Please email your request to Danielle@PondFamilyMediation.com. We know that schedules are very busy so finding the time away from work for mediation can be stressful. We work to mitigate these concerns by offering flexible appointment times and virtual mediation.
Yes. It is common for family mediators to deal with a variety of family issues including child/parent disputes, in-law disputes, grandparent issues, and more. Mediation is always a great tool to cool tempers and come up with workable solutions. We are also LGBTQ friendly!