9302 N Meridian St. Suite 350

Indianapolis, IN 46260

Map & Directions


Phone : 317.815.5554

Fax: 317.815.5581


FAQs

What is Mediation?

The mediator will encourage all parties to “tell their story”. It is importation to the mediator that each party express all concerns. The mediator makes no judgment as to whether the parties are right or wrong. All statements made during the mediation process are confidential and cannot be used in court. The mediator will help the parties to identify the issues to discuss.

The mediator simply facilitates a conversation between the parties to assist them in seeking the best possible resolution to their dispute. The amount of time required for mediation varies with each case. The mediator will make every effort to help you resolve your dispute in a timely manner. However, each party should be flexible with their schedules and plan accordingly. Once the parties have reached an agreement, a document will be drafted for their signatures. If requested, the mediator may then file the document(s) with the appropriate court for an additional fee of $50.00.

What are the benefits to mediation?

  1. Unlike a court hearing, mediation allows the participants to state their story openly, completely and in their own way. There are no legal rules as to what can be said in mediation. Court experiences are often difficult and dissatisfying.  Participants are limited as to what they can say in court by the rules of evidence and procedure.
  2. There is a significant cost savings with mediation.
  3. Mediation allows the participants to maintain control of the outcome of their case
  4. Mediation is scheduled at the convenience of the participants instead of the convenience of the courts.
  5. The Mediation Option offers a relaxed and informal environment, alleviating the stress of “going to court”. The participants may get up and take breaks when they so desire. Food and drinks are allowed in the mediation rooms. The participants are encouraged to dress comfortably for the mediation. Our offices are equipped with wireless internet access.
  6. Mediation provides a greater level of privacy than court. No one is in the room as an “audience”. All discussions, whether in a joint session or in a one-on-one conversation with the mediator, are kept confidential and cannot be used by any party in court.
  7. The mediation process can improve communication and understanding between the parties.
  8. The mediation process can resolve all issues without going to court. In the event that a full resolution cannot be reached, mediation can help the participants resolve some of the issues and identify those that are outstanding. If a subsequent court hearing is needed, the time required for the preparation and hearing itself will have been greatly reduced.
  9. Mediation is successful – the national success rate for a full resolution is
    85 – 90%!

 

What can be mediated?

Any dispute or possibility of future disputes can be mediated. The following are some examples of what can be mediated by The Mediation Option:

Commercial disputes: contract disputes, insurance claims disputes, personal and property damage disputes, collections issues, human resource disputes

Real estate disputes: construction disputes, valuation disputes, landlord/tenant disputes, buyer and seller disputes

Family disputes: divorce, custody, child support, visitation, pre-nuptial agreements, extended family disputes, attorney-less divorce proceedings

Neighborhood disputes: neighbor to neighbor disputes, homeowner association disputes, lot line disputes, improvement disputes

Elder mediation: guardianships, caregiver disputes,  estate & trust matters, family communication and decision making, care-giver burnout, driving and transportation issues, bill paying responsibilities, end of life decision making

School Disputes: curriculum disputes and interpersonal disputes

Work-group disputes: co-worker disputes, management and employee relations disputes, inter-departmental disputes, etc.

Victim/Offender Disputes

Why should I choose The Mediation Option?

We offer quality mediators who come from a wide range of experience. Our mediators are committed to assisting each client achieve the best possible outcome.

It is our mission to offer you mediation at an affordable price. We believe that mediation is the very best way to solve conflict. We have taken great steps to ensure that we can offer quality mediation in a manner that is cost-effective for you. All of our mediators are experienced and are registered through the Indiana Commission for Continuing Legal Education.

We have designed our mediation space with your comfort in mind. We want your experience to be as stress-free as possible. We are conveniently located on the north-west corner of 93rd and Meridian, just south of I-465. Free parking is available immediately adjacent to the building.

How do I schedule a mediation?

You can schedule your mediation by calling The Mediation Option at 317.815.5554 or by e-mailing us at mediation@tmoindy.com.

For each session scheduled, a retainer from each party will be required which will be applied to the total cost of the mediation.  The retainer must be paid at least five days prior to the scheduled mediation session.

What if the mediation takes longer than the time scheduled?

Our mediators will continue beyond the time scheduled so long as the calendar permits it and so long as a room is available. If not, then the participants can schedule another session that is convenient to all.

How do I pay for the mediation?

Unless the participants agree otherwise, or the Court orders otherwise, each participant shall share equally in the cost of mediation. Payment is required in full at the end of the mediation. We accept the following convenient methods of payment: credit cards (Visa, MasterCard or Discover), debit cards, cash, or check

What should I wear?

We want everyone to be comfortable in this process. We invite you to dress comfortably but respectfully, whether that is business casual or jeans and a T-shirt.

What should I bring with me to the mediation?

You will want to bring any financial information or other items that you think might be relevant to the issues being mediated. These are documents or items that might better explain your position or dispute. This could be, for example, pictures, contracts, leases, health reports, doctor’s statements, bank statements, deeds, etc.

Is there anything else I should bring with me?

Participants often experience down time (such as when the mediator is preparing the appropriate documents once an agreement has been reached).  Each room is equipped with cable TV.  Our office provides wireless internet access and a selection of magazines.  You may choose to bring your own reading material, a tablet or laptop and/or other activities.

What happens if the session continues through lunch or dinner time?

It is impossible to accurately predict the time it will take to reach an agreement.  Each case has unique circumstances which will dictate the length of the session.  The mediators are prepared to work through lunch and/or dinner as schedules permit.  We will provide meals.  We also have some refreshments available.  You are welcome to bring food and drinks with you.

What happens when an agreement is reached?

Once all participants agree on a solution to their dispute, the mediator will prepare for signature the documents containing their agreement. You will have a signed copy to take home with you. Upon request, the mediator can file the necessary documents with the court for an additional fee of $50. The court will send the judge-approved, file marked copies to you.

What is Family Law Arbitration?

When parties to a divorce case cannot agree upon the resolution of the issues before them, they can have their issues decided by a neutral but qualified arbitrator selected by the parties. The Mediation Option has a hearing room specifically designed for a comfortable arbitration experience.

What are the benefits of Family Law Arbitration at The Mediation Option?

  • It will be faster than going to court.
    • Scheduling is not limited by the court’s congested calendar.
    • You will most likely receive the decision quicker than if you had gone to court.
  • It will be easier than going to court.
    • The parties and their attorneys can choose the rules of the procedure, or the parties can choose to have no procedural rules.
    • The hearing room is more comfortable and less intimidating than a court room.
    • You can dress comfortably and take breaks as necessary.
    • Food and drinks are allowed in the hearing room.
    • There is plenty of free parking next to the building.
  • You can choose who will hear your case and be comfortable in knowing your arbitrator has had over 25 years of experience hearing family law cases.
  • Your case will receive personalized attention.
  • It can be less expensive than going to court.
  • The arbitration hearing is confidential.

What is the difference between arbitration and mediation?

In mediation, the parties discuss a resolution with the mediator and try to come to a mutually acceptable agreement. If the parties do not agree on a resolution of the issues then the mediation is unsuccessful. In arbitration, the arbitrator decides the case after conducting a hearing. During the hearing each party can present his or her case, can submit evidence, and can have witnesses testify.

How does Family Law Arbitration work?

The issues the parties wish to arbitrate are put into an agreement at the beginning of the process. The the parties present their case to the arbitrator. The arbitrator may also ask questions in order to make a more informed and thoughtful decision. At the end of the arbitration, the arbitrator considers the case and subsequently issues a decision. Once the arbitrator submits the decision to the court, the judge must, by statute, sign the decision and it becomes a court order.

Interested in becoming a Family Law Arbitrator?

Carol and Elodie provide training to attorneys interested in becoming family law arbitrators. If you would like to attend the next training session, please call or email us to get more information.

What is parenting coordination?

Parenting coordination is a process by which a trained Parenting Coordinator (PC), who is an attorney, mediator or mental health professional, assists parents in high-conflict situations to better communicate with each other, learn to resolve disputes and implement a parenting plan. A PC does not favor one parent over the other, but is always on the children’s side and will always promote the children’s best interests. In some instances, depending on the court’s order, the PC may make decisions for the parents regarding their children.

What are the benefits to using a PC?

Parents in high-conflict situations may benefit from using a PC who can educate them on how to communicate more effectively and efficiently with their co-parent. A PC can also educate co-parents regarding the effect their decisions and actions have on their children. Hopefully the parents can then learn to resolve issues on their own without intervention from the court or a PC.

If the parents must seek court intervention, the time and cost required for preparation and attendance can be very high and prohibitive. The PC, if given the authority by the court, may make immediate decisions for the parents, thus saving time and money.

What issues can and cannot a PC address?

Typically, a PC can address any issue involving children, such as parenting time, schooling, health care, etc. A PC cannot alter a court order regarding legal and physical custody. A PC cannot determine any issues regarding significant financial considerations, even if it involves children.

Why should I choose a PC from The Mediation Option?

Elodie has been an attorney since 1996. Before becoming a mediator and PC, she spent over 12 years as a deputy prosecutor in the child support division of the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office. During those years she gained extensive experience with parents in high-conflict situations. With her mediation training and experience, she has helped and continues to help parents in conflict find common ground.

As a trained PC, Elodie understands the needs of parents to act in their children’s best interest. She will try to help parents understand the nature of their relationship with their co-parent, and how their actions may affect their relationship with their children. When needed, Elodie will make those decisions that need to be made if the parents are unable to agree. In doing so, she hopes that parents will see the decisions are always in the children’s best interest and that the children’s best interests should always be the goal in any dispute.

Elodie will schedule both individual and joint meetings, depending upon her determination of the needs of the parents. Each meeting will be scheduled at a mutually acceptable time and date. Generally, meetings last between one and two hours and will always be held at The Mediation Option.

At The Mediation Option, Elodie makes use of the comfortable atmosphere, which has been designed to help alleviate stress and promote cooperation. Elodie has gained a reputation for being calm and considerate in stressful situations.

How do I engage the services of a PC?

You may ask your attorney, if you have one, or your judge if you are in court, to order parenting coordination and assign Elodie as your PC. As Elodie only takes a limited number of cases, please contact her to ensure that she is available to take your case. She can be reached by phone at 317.815.5554 or by e-mail at elodie.meuser@tmoindy.com. If you do not have an attorney and do not have any pending litigation and both you and your co-parent feel that a PC would be beneficial, please contact Elodie for further information.

How long can a PC be assigned to a case?

The term of the assignment of the PC is typically determined by the court based on the parents’ needs. In general, a PC can be assigned to a case for one to two years.

How do I pay for PC services?

A deposit against fees is required to be paid before any services are rendered. Each parent will receive an invoice on a monthly basis (sometimes more often depending on the work being done). The invoice will indicate that amount of fees drawn from the deposit. A positive balance must be maintained at all times. Payments can be made by credit card (Visa, MasterCard or Discover), debit card, check or cash.

What is a mediated divorce without attorneys?

Hiring an attorney and going to court are not your only options for divorce. Mediating without attorneys and without going to court may be the solution for you. A mediated divorce without attorneys involves just you, your spouse and the mediator who helps you to work together to craft a divorce agreement appropriate for your situation.

What are the advantages of a mediated divorce without attorneys?

  • Expense – rather than hiring two attorneys, the couple hires one mediator and divides the cost.
  • Avoidance of court battle – remember that what is said in court cannot be unsaid; due to the adversarial nature of the court process, divorce often turns into a battle which can be avoided through mediation.
  • Child-focused solutions – mediation can address details regarding your children that a judge may not have the time or inclination to consider.
  • Timing – scheduling mediation is quicker and more convenient than waiting for the court to set a hearing which may be months away on a day or time that could be difficult for the parties to attend.
  • Control – in mediation you and your spouse maintain control over the outcome of your divorce rather than leaving it up to the judge who doesn’t know you or your family.

What are the disadvantages to a mediated divorce without attorneys?

  • Advice – ethically, mediators cannot provide any legal advice; you may choose to seek advice from an attorney, tax specialist and/or financial advisor to assist you if needed before or during the mediation process.
  • Commitment to the process – in order for mediation to be successful, both spouses need to be equally committed to the mediation process.
  • Personality challenges – mediation without attorneys will only be successful if neither party suffers from a major mental illness or disability which may result in a significant power imbalance.
  • Disclosure – mediation without attorneys will only be successful if each party is fully aware of all relevant and necessary information or is assured that the other party has or will fully disclose all relevant and necessary information.

How do I get started?

  • Contact us to set up a free 30 minute consultation to determine if this is right for you and your spouse.
  • Email us at mediation@tmoindy.com or call 317-815-5554.
  • Please keep in mind that even though we are attorneys, we are not allowed as mediators to give you legal advice.