Beverly R. Tarr offers a preliminary consultation at her downtown office in which both parties would attend at the same time. Ms. Tarr does not typically see parties separately for the initial consultation which is used to discuss the mediation process. She will talk to each party individually and jointly during the mediation process. There is no preparation required for this preliminary session and is simply for each party to gain a better understanding of the mediation process and/or Ms. Tarr. Attorneys are not to attend the consultation session.
The preliminary consultation usually lasts one (1) hour and the issues the parties really need to consider at this stage are:
(i) Is mediation appropriate for our case?
(ii) Do we wish Ms. Tarr to assist us in that process
The parties will be better informed to answer these questions after having spoken with Ms. Tarr at the consultation. At the meeting, Ms. Tarr will provide the parties with some helpful documents which will assist them in preparing for the mediation.
Beverly R. Tarr's hourly rate is $585 and is for all work before, during and after the mediation. Ms. Tarr's Case Manager, Sarah Richmond's, hourly rate is $135. Sarah is responsible for all administrative duties before, during and after the mediation, including but not limited to scheduling, disclosure of documents, distribution of Interest Statements, preparation of the FPMA, expectations to attorneys and file maintenance. Ms. Tarr does not require a retainer. Clients are invoiced at six (6) minute intervals and will be provided with a detailed invoice. Payment is due seven (7) calendar days after the mediation session and is equally split (50/50) between the parties, unless mutually agreed otherwise in writing. Credit cards are accepted.
Retaining an Attorney is a prerequisite to proceeding with mediation. However, you are not required to have an attorney retained to attend the initial consultation. Ms. Tarr will explain their role at greater length during the consultation. As a mediator, Ms. Tarr is unable to advise as to the law as it undermines her credibility as a third Party neutral. The Attorneys have the option of attending the mediation session(s). This is a decision made by the Parties in consultation with their respective Attorneys. In the event one Party would wish their Attorney to attend a session, then both Attorneys would need to be present so as to ensure there is an equilibrium of information in the room.
Please be advised, you do not need to retain an Attorney prior to the consultation session. If you already have an Attorney retained, Attorneys are not required to attend the consultation session. If you need Attorney recommendations, Ms. Tarr could put forth a list of Attorneys for your consideration. She will provide a short statement about each Attorney listed, along with their contact information. Ms. Tarr provides recommendations in confidence and does not receive or accept referral fees.
Mediation is about looking at each parties' needs and interests and assisting in generating realistic options - in essence, Ms. Tarr facilitates negotiation so that they can both problem-solve. Parties are usually very satisfied with a mediated agreement as they have come to the decisions of their own free will - no party feels they have won or lost. The mediated agreements tend to have longevity due to the consensus between the parties. A mediator does not decide who is right or wrong or who is telling the truth or not, as it is the parties who make the decisions not the mediator, unlike an arbitration process or litigation in which the judge would determine these issues. Typically parties to a divorce have some on-going relationship in the future as they often have children together so the parties rather than the individual determining the outcome is often a much better springboard for a successful co-parenting or even parallel parenting relationship.
The mediation sessions take place at Ms. Tarr's office located downtown across from the Daley Center at 161 North Clark, Floor 16. There is public parking next to the building at Lake/Clark. Mediation begins at 9:00 am and goes until the parties are done, which is why they are requested to keep the entire day and evening available (if required). If either party or the attorneys, in consultation with the mediator, consider shorter more frequent sessions are required then the process will accommodate whatever the collaborative consensus deems appropriate.
There is considerable preparation before the mediation so that neither party feels rushed or is not in an equally informed position as the other party. It is essential for all decisions to be informed decisions and for that to be a reality, Ms. Tarr is of the opinion, preparation is key. Disclosure of all relevant financial documents is required. In addition, other resources may be utilized from therapists to financial neutrals.
Ms. Tarr's role is to facilitate negotiation between the two parties so that they can reach an agreement that is acceptable to them both and which they can both follow through on. Ms. Tarr has conducted over 1,700 divorce mediation's with only 16 not reaching an agreement. In order for a mediation to be successful, Ms. Tarr needs to run the process in a way that she believes allows the best chance for the mediation to be productive.
Concerns regarding follow through of an agreement are met during Ms. Tarr's Process by ensuring the couples have a "Signing Day," where the final documents are signed and then entered with the Court. The terms of an agreement are not to be renegotiated during this meeting, however small issues not previously discussed may be brought to the mediator's attention at this time.
Ms. Tarr adopts a mediation model whereby the parties attend her offices on hopefully only two occasions. She endeavors to resolve all parental issues in one day and all financial issues in one day, usually 3-4 weeks apart - however the parties will need to keep the whole day available on each occasion. This is different to the usual mediation approach which is several sessions over several months.
Mediations are a voluntary process, unless you have a mediation provision in your original Judgment in which both parties must agree to participate in order for mediation to proceed. In the event the parties have said provision then the question is, has Beverly R. Tarr been named as the mediator in your Judgment? If she has been specifically named then please contact our office to schedule a preliminary consultation. In the event she has not been named, the parties will need to interview Ms. Tarr to mutually appoint her as their mediator.
The preliminary consultation usually lasts 45 minutes and the only issues the parties really need to consider at this stage, due to the fact it is post decree, is:
(i) Do we wish to move forward with Ms. Tarr (only if she is not named)
(ii) How do we best prepare for the mediation?
Prior to the preliminary consultation, Ms. Tarr requests the following documents:
(i) A copy of the original Judgment
(ii) Any and all Petitions that have been made subsequent to the Judgment that specifically address the issues that have led the parties to mediation.
Ms. Tarr adopts a mediation model whereby the parties attend her offices on hopefully only one occasion. She endeavors to resolve all post-decree issues in one day - however the parties will need to keep the whole day available. This is different to the usual mediation approach which is several sessions over several months.
Each party will need to retain an attorney at some stage which is a prerequisite in adopting Ms. Tarr's process and she will explain their role at greater length during the consultation. Due to the fact this is post-decree it is assumed the parties already have attorneys retained. As a mediator, Ms. Tarr is unable to advise as to the law as it undermines her credibility as a third party neutral. The attorneys have the option of attending the mediation session. This is a decision made by the parties in consultation with their respective attorneys. In the event one party would wish their attorney to attend the session, then both attorneys would need to be present so as to ensure there is an equilibrium of information in the room.
The attorneys must review the Memorandum of Understanding (agreement between the parties) which is drafted within 48 hours of the mediation session. The attorneys will take the final approved Memorandum of Understanding and draft it into an order which gets entered at court. This is why it is essential to retain an attorney.
Ms. Tarr also mediates parties seeking marital/marriage mediation. This is a practical alternative for couples who wish to stay married and work on resolving disputes within their marriage. Please click here to learn more about Marital/Marriage mediation.
Please contact our office for additional information or to schedule a consultation.