Divorce is likely to be one of the most significant, difficult and painful events you will ever experience in your life.
It can be a lonely, all-consuming journey through the divorce process and with no guidebook to help navigate unfamiliar issues, the stress and fear is only compounded by the need to make important, life-changing decisions with far reaching implications.
That's where we come in. To help you every step of the way!
And when used together, give you the best opportunity to avoid a drawn-out, costly and contentious divorce and at the same time, enabling you to remain fully in control of the terms of your agreement.
If you know you don't want lawyers and you know you can't do this yourself, work with us!
Both Joe and Cheryl found a way to keep the conversation moving forward while bringing just enough light heartedness to keep the tension down for what otherwise could have been a miserable experience.
They can take a difficult topic and process and make it very manageable, a skill that only experience can provide. They are both incredibly helpful and their process was efficient and effective.
I could write a book on why Equitable Mediation is in a class of their own, and I very well may!
From initial gut-check talks, to the nitty gritty, both Cheryl and Joe exercise the human quality of this process. They both, individually add incredible knowledge, support and a team effort feel to each step in the process.
Honestly, there is nothing "enjoyable" about divorce, yet somehow, they leave you feeling comforted, treated fairly and respected. I couldn't recommend them more enthusiastically!
Joe brings a sense of assured guidance to the details of which we knew very little. He listens actively and offers solutions from an objective standpoint. He is warm, funny and fast.
You are not just a "case file" to Cheryl and Joe.
What I liked most about working with Equitable Mediation was the mutual respect, candor and fastidious attention to both the human quality and necessary outcome of peace, fairness and documentation. Also, the availability of coaching was not only convenient, but felt hands-on at all times.
Equitable Mediation made a stressful life event feel manageable.
They provided a supportive, structured process that helped make our divorce less painful and more focused on collaboration and solutions.
Joe and Cheryl offer a sane, safe path through the difficult work of divorce. Their expertise offered a roadmap for meeting our goals and helped us make decisions that could have been acrimonious and adversarial, but were instead solutions-focused.
It was a process that was not only good for us, but beneficial for our kids, too.
Other than the decision to divorce itself, there is no single more important decision than choosing a divorce mediator qualified to handle your divorce.
For more than 20 years, our expert, professionally trained divorce mediator Joe Dillon has been helping individuals, couples and corporations mediate a myriad of complex issues and intractable problems by utilizing his experience with negotiation, finance and interpersonal relationships.
Joe is highly skilled at developing solutions that work for each type of client and situation he encounters. Not only does he have a command of the parental and financial decisions that need to be made, but he is well-versed and up-to-date on the issues in all states we practice in.
Joe has mediated hundreds of divorces for clients of all ages, income levels, and case complexities. And has been instrumental in reaching hundreds of private, out-of-court, negotiated settlements.
We're proud of Joe's high case resolution rate which has been 98% or greater every year Equitable Mediation has been in practice.
Joe has worked with many different types of couples throughout the years, and has a keen awareness of the different types of communication difficulties between divorcing spouses - especially when it comes to issues such as parenting and money. So to bridge the gap between the two parties and help them find common ground, he is proficient in "speaking a number of languages."
For example, Joe's background in finance and love of spreadsheets enables him to understand the language and thinking of an analytical-minded, corporate executive-type individual. But since Joe was raised by a single mom, he's also uniquely qualified to understand the issues someone in that position may face when it comes to finances, fear of an uncertain future, and their potential loss of identity as a full-time parent.
Because being able to help couples communicate, and knowing what issues are important to them, even if they themselves don't know or can't articulate those things, is critically important in helping the parties come to a balanced agreement.
It's also a major determining factor in not only if a mediation will succeed, but also in how quickly a couple will move through the mediation process and how cost-effective it will be.
Joe, I think you are masterful at herding in the complexities of our situation, respectfully calming "E's" and my realistic fears and defensiveness, presenting creative and practical ideas, all while politely motivating us.
And peppered with your wonderful sense of humor, of course! You rock, Joe! Thank you for guiding us.
Joe is a very kind and very patient which comes with what I can tell is vast experience mediating families through divorce. He did a great job of keeping the discussions on track and defusing those moments where the conversation was getting too heated.
He understood our situation and helped us agree on solutions that best suited our wants and needs. We agreed on an outcome that is best for our children and our individual finances. One that I am comfortable with.
Going through a divorce is very stressful and a complete emotional upheaval to everyday life.
For this reason, Divorce Coach Cheryl Dillon will be available to you and your spouse individually or together throughout the mediation process for emotional support and/or to help you separate your emotions from the big decisions that need to be made in order to best move forward.
Divorce coaching can even help overcome conflict and improve interactions with your spouse during and after the mediation process.
Cheryl, You helped me gain the strength I needed to get through the most difficult time in my life.
Having you available to me throughout our mediation really helped keep the emotions in check and things on track.
Anyone who's ever been through divorce can tell you there are a lot of moving parts. In fact, people often cite the divorce process itself as the reason for not wanting to pursue a divorce!
So if you're overwhelmed about what lies ahead, you're not alone!
You’ll start things off right with a Mediation Overview where we’ll teach you exactly what steps you need to take in order to get an optimal mediation outcome. We’ll also cover important topics such as how to successfully complete the discovery phase of our mediation process, how to prepare for your negotiations and what to do if you have questions or need help.
And since no one wants their divorce to drag on forever, we’ll provide you with a Mediation Roadmap to outline important milestones and due dates to keep your mediation on track.
You’ll have direct access to your mediator throughout your negotiations.
And we’ll also give you access to our client portal, mediation toolkit and secure file sharing system and provide personalized support should you need it.
One of the reasons we contacted Equitable Mediation in the first place was because we felt they really “got it.”
Offering assistance with all areas of divorce made us feel like they were going to help take care of everything – and they did!
I think that your process is probably as quick, cost-effective and fair as is possible in the circumstances.
Frankly, I wasn't sure that we would make it through and actually reach an agreement. If you were able to help us to reach that goal, then I'm sure that you could do it for almost any couple wanting to mediate!
Some mediators will only prepare a basic write-up or a simple bulleted list of terms. Giving you and your spouse no choice but to retain attorneys (and spend an additional $2,500 to $3,500) to convert your negotiations into a fully-formed agreement.
But not us!
We’ll provide you and your spouse with a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding which outlines explicitly the agreements you made in mediation, the steps you need to take in order to execute your agreement, and what to do when your children get older or your circumstances change.
Your agreement will be thorough, detailed, easy to understand and execute and as future-proofed as possible.
From guiding us through the issues to ensuring our agreement was thorough to the kindness they showed us during our time working together, Joe and Cheryl didn't let us down.
We are grateful for everything they did to make a highly emotional and very personal event easier on us and our family.
You both really understand all of the dynamics involved in the divorce process, and really have your clients best interest in mind.
The step-by-step process broken into little sections was awesome. It made this big, giant, overwhelming task comprehensible. I'm so grateful. You have a wonderful process in place.
We treat you like human beings, not docket numbers.
And our mediation services are peaceful, dignified, and result in a divorce agreement that is fair and in the best interests of your children.
We believe that the right information combined with the right expertise and the right kind of support can make the difficult process of divorce easier on you and your family.
You are genuinely nice people. You were empathetic toward us. I felt like you really understood what we had to go through and you guided us every step of the way. It felt much less daunting and overwhelming.
I felt your support 100% of the time. You made it as easy and quick as possible without spending 10's of thousands of dollars on attorney fees.
You know what works and you know how to mediate. I can’t thank you enough for getting me through this tough time with humor and ease.
Hi Cheryl, Thank you for the continued kindness you and Joe have shown during this entire process, it has no doubt made this journey easier to endure.
I do feel that all our paths are crossed in life for a reason and I am indeed glad that ours did.
Mediation is an unregulated profession and your divorce is too important to trust to the wrong mediator.
So it’s critical to select the mediator most qualified to guide you through your divorce negotiations, not just the one who has the closest office.
Flexible meeting options allow you to meet with Joe how and where you want and make the mediation process itself as convenient as possible.
Being able to do everything via phone and internet made my divorce much easier because we were able to find times to mediate without the hassle of driving to a physical location to meet with Joe. It was also nice because I didn't need to be in the same room as my wife so it took a lot of emotion and fighting out of the sessions.
When you’ve been mediating for as long as we have, you understand that no two divorcing couples are the same. So unlike other divorce service providers out there, we won’t try and force you and your spouse into a “one-size-fits-all” process.
We know from experience that couples married 20 years with teenage or college-aged children face much different issues than those who are retired, or only married a few years. And couples still living together face much different issues than those living in two different states.
During your initial meeting with us, we’ll work together to build a customized, flat-fee, mediation solution, based on your specific needs and circumstances.
Providing personalized services and support to address your family’s unique emotional, financial, and logistical needs from start to finish.
Costs for a traditional Lawyer-Driven Divorce can range from $20,000 to $32,000. While the cost of a collaborative divorce can range from $25,000 to $50,000. And if a divorce goes to trial, it can range from $78,000 to $200,000 per couple.
To remove the anxiety that is often associated with the spiraling costs of divorce, we offer flat-fee mediation services and you will have a few options to choose from.
During your initial meeting, we'll share how each of the options work, what's included, and what the flat-fee is for each. This way, you can choose the service option that's right for you. Learn more about the initial meeting.
When following our proven process, the cost of divorce mediation, on average, is between $5,900 - $6,900 for 90% of our clients.
Joe, You and Cheryl definitely have a way of taking the edge off a difficult process. From start to finish, I always felt like I was in good hands.
Knowing up front how much our mediation was going to cost helped "K" and I focus on what really mattered. Instead of worrying about if every time we picked up the phone we were going to get a bill!
It's obvious that the two of you care a lot about the people you work with and what you do so thank you!
Cheryl and Joe were a pleasure to work with. I was dreading going through divorce. It seemed overwhelming, but they were there every step of the way to guide and comfort us during this difficult time.
They made it very straightforward and as easy as possible.
You may be thinking that so far everything sounds great but you’re concerned about what happens when you’re done working with us and now it’s time to file.
Wondering if we’re just going to leave you on your own?
Of course not!
We'll share a number of filing options so you can choose the one best-suited to your unique needs.
While we think everyone should choose to mediate their divorce if they are able, there are three things you should know before you book an initial meeting for you and your spouse:
First, you and your spouse must be in agreement about wanting a divorce (or separation).
If you want a divorce but your spouse doesn’t, booking a meeting with us to try to convince them to cooperate is not a good idea!
Certainly it’s natural that one (or even both) of you may have some reservations about divorcing, but there’s a big difference between being sad the marriage is over but willing to proceed with divorce versus digging your heels in and doing anything you can to try to bring the divorce process to a halt.
If the latter is the case, booking an initial meeting is not the right step for you.
Second, you and your spouse must both be ready to start the divorce process.
If you’re thinking about divorce but don’t plan on starting the divorce process for another six months or more, an initial meeting isn’t right for you at this time. Instead, we suggest you book an initial meeting once you and your spouse are both ready to actually begin the divorce process.
In the meantime, consider purchasing our on-demand "How to Prepare for Divorce Kit."
And finally, you and your spouse must both be willing to consider mediation as a viable option for your divorce.
If you truly want to explore using mediation, but your spouse only agreed to attend the meeting because you pressured them into it, an initial meeting is not right for you. Instead, consider helping your spouse learn about divorce mediation on our website and then booking an initial meeting only if/when they are on board.
Do my spouse and I need to have everything figured out before we work with you and start mediation?
This is a very common question and the answer is…of course not!
It’s not uncommon for some couples to discuss and come to basic agreement on certain limited issues prior to working with us, so if you’re one of those couples, great. We’ll take what you’ve discussed/agreed to and build on it - filling in the gaps where need be and making sure your agreement is thorough and covers all the bases.
But if you haven’t had a single conversation about anything, that’s fine too, and in some cases, preferred. We'll guide you through all of the issues, help you negotiate areas of disagreement and make sure your agreement is thorough.
Either way, we’re here to help.
I'd like to learn what former clients say about their experience working with you. Can I get some references?
Since divorce is a confidential process, it's inappropriate for us to ask clients to break confidentiality - and identify themselves and detail publicly - one of the most painful experiences of their lives.
However, we do send former clients a survey and ask for feedback about their experiences working with us. You can read some testimonials on our Equitable Mediation Reviews page.
I have more questions…
It makes sense to have a lot of questions because there's a lot involved when it comes to the divorce process. A good place to start is on our learn about divorce mediation page. If after reading it, you have additional questions, we’ll do our best to address them all during your initial meeting.