What you need to know in scheduling a free, confidential consultation (what it is, what to prepare, how to make use of your time, Etc.)
It is my pleasure to meet with you and provide an initial confidential consultation at no fee. To make the most of the time we have, which is a total of 25 minutes with the last 5 minutes to wrap up, it is helpful to know what to expect and prepare.
STEPS FOR SETTING UP COMPLIMENTARY CONSULTATION.
STEP 1: Review what this Complimentary Consultation is first to make sure it is right for you. Reading this page you are on will clarify.
STEP 2: Prepare what you would like to review with Rachel.
STEP 3: Set up your appointment by clicking the Appointment Button in pink below.
STEP 4: *NOTE*: It will be up to you to make the phone call to Rachel at: (908) 310-3397 at the time you have scheduled.
The initial free consultation: what it is …
The purpose of the call is for each of us to share some information to help inform one another so we can together determine whether to move forward with a working relationship. Because this call is largely for the purposes of covering administrative issues like an overview of mediation procedures and costs, I think it is only fair to provide this time at no change to you.
For your part, I welcome you to share the reason for your call, a brief overview about your current marital situation, and the few facts you believe are relevant (e.g. ages of children, current living situation, length of marriage, issues that have led you to consider intervention). You are welcome to share whatever feels most pressing; whatever may be keeping you awake at night. I will help guide the conversation if we are going beyond the scope of what can be responsibly covered in our limited time. The purpose of our consult it to determine whether to continue to next steps where we have the space to delve into all the issues comprehensively and give them the full attention they require.
At the end of the consultation, if we are in agreement that working together would be beneficial, the next step is to inform your spouse/partner and invite them to have the same opportunity to schedule a confidential consultation with me, also at no cost. The purpose of this is to allow each of you to have the same opportunity for an introductory meeting, and to experience first-hand the impartiality of the mediation process.
To schedule please use the calendar link below:
And what it is not … and other options
This initial consultation is not an in-depth consultation in which substantive matters are examined or analyzed, documentation is reviewed, or specific financial data collected. However, if you are in need of a full consultation where your goal is to obtain preliminary legal advice on your matter, I can certainly accommodate this, however, this is not a complementary service and a flat fee consultation rate applies, and is due upon scheduling. If this is the case, please be prepared with substantive questions, limited, pertinent documentation if necessary, as well as an overview to introduce me to your marital/relational situation and primary concerns. Of course, come prepared with any questions; more will arise from our meeting and we will take them up as they come. In order to schedule, please simply email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Together or Apart? Should I consult with the mediator individually or with my partner?
If you and your spouse are already in agreement about using a mediator, meeting together can be useful. Meeting together can give you and the mediator a nascent foundation for future mediations and model the way we will be working together. If you and your partner have already experienced a level a safety in discussing the process together, and each of you feel in a relatively grounded emotional state, meeting together is a viable option.
If, on the other hand, you have a sense of dread at the notion of having the initial mediation consult together, let that be your guide. Concerns that your full and candid expression will be hindered by the presence of the other, or that there may be backlash as a result of the call are good indications that meeting separately is a better choice. If there are questions or information you wish to discuss that is highly sensitive or triggering, consider meeting separately. When emotions are inflamed, when your partner and you are not in accord as to whether, or how, to proceed, meeting separately is best.
Who calls whom?
For your initial consult (and generally for any phone appointment with me) I ask that clients call me. Why? Beginning with our first contact, I aim to foster a sense of control and empowerment for clients.
Because of the personal and confidential nature of our call, security is a priority. I do not want, for example, my call to intrude upon an impromptu work meeting that you are unable to extricate yourself from. If you need another few minutes to terminate gracefully, you can take them without additional angst.
Also, awaiting a call from a professional about a private matter, particularly while at work, attending to children, or with limited time or physical privacy, can provoke anxiety in and of itself. Awaiting a call can contribute, however subtly, to feeling vulnerable to being startled, intruded upon, or exposed. For our call, to the extent possible, secure a private setting where you are reasonably safe from intrusion. I look forward to speaking with you.