Karen D. Kipnes

Collaborative Attorney & Certified Mediator

Member of the 9th Circuit Roster of Court Appointed Mediators 
(347) 919-3630

We serve clients anywhere in New York & Connecticut

50 Main Street, Suite 1420,  White Plains, NY 10606

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do people choose Mediation instead of Litigation?

Mediation takes the power away from lawyers and judges and puts it in your hands. That seems only fair, since you are deciding important things about your life. Mediation can save you time, money, and your emotional well-being. You and your spouse will likely have some type of ongoing relationship (often co-parenting) and Mediation seeks to strengthen that relationship instead of destroy it. Mediation allows you to vent and be heard in a safe and supportive place. There is no judgment in Mediation. There is only constructive problem-solving. In Mediation, the parties share the cost of one Attorney-Mediator who will work to align your interests, rather than pay for two independent Attorneys to fight in court. Karen strives to protect you both from the court-system, from other lawyers, and from each other. Mediation is far less traumatic than Litigation.

What is Divorce Mediation?

Divorce Mediation is an amazing alternative to courtroom litigation for couples contemplating the termination of their marriage. Mediation is a voluntary process that allows divorcing couples to reach agreements in a private and confidential setting, without ever having to appear in the adversarial atmosphere of a court. It is a hugely successful process for resolving marital disputes. The Mediator, a neutral third party, is trained to help facilitate fair agreements. The end-goal of Mediation is to achieve a mutually agreed upon settlement, that is uniquely customized to work for the individuals involved. It is a far less traumatic, less expensive, less hostile, and often more successful process than litigation.

Can we Mediate if we don't agree on big issues?

Of course! All that is required to Mediate is that both of you are prepared to come to scheduled appointments and act respectfully towards each other. Meaningful discussions will take place and it is likely that an agreement can be reached.

How long does Mediation Take?

Every Mediation is different but an average Divorce Mediation takes about 4-10 hours. Mediations can be scheduled weekly or more spread apart: whichever works best for you. Karen can be flexible to meet your scheduling needs and can do early morning and late evening hours if that is best for you. The number of sessions you need will depend on how complex your disagreements and issues are. On average, Mediated Divorces take 2-5 months, or less. For comparison, litigated divorces can take YEARS.

How MUCH does Mediation Cost?

Unlike litigation, there is no retainer fee in Mediation. You pay hourly at the end of each session. During the first session, Karen will have you sign an “Agreement to Mediate”. This will explain clearly Karen’s hourly fees so you know what to expect. Mediation costs a fraction of what a litigation divorce can cost.

Does the Mediator decide what happens?

Absolutely not. That’s the beauty of Mediation. YOU decide what happens. Together, you and your spouse will decide what works best for you. You can follow what the law suggests or you can make up your own rules. All that matters is that it works for you. Karen will help facilitate your decisions and might provide options or suggestions, but you are the ones making the decisions.

How can I make sure my spouse doesn’t take advantage of me?

This is a natural worry and one that Karen takes very seriously and will not allow. Karen’s job is to monitor the discussions and make sure that both of you are driving decisions and feel protected.