8335 Court Avenue
Ellicott City, Maryland 21043
Phone: (410) 465-2656
Fax: (410) 418-8732
THIS AGREEMENT is made between the undersigned, husband and wife, (hereinafter "parties") and DAVID A. TITMAN, mediator.
The parties are now living separately or have reached a decision to do so. The parties wish to reach settlement through mediation of issues involved with their relationship, such as: division of property, child custody, child support, alimony, payment of debts and income taxes. The parties agree that it would be of benefit to resolve their differences by mutual agreement reached through mediation rather than by an order imposed by a judge after litigation. The signing of this agreement is a reflection of each partyís desire to cooperate in the mediation process.
THEREFORE THE PARTIES AGREE TO THE FOLLOWING:
1. ROLE OF MEDIATOR. The mediator shall be neutral in his relationship to the parties and shall disclose any circumstances likely to affect his impartiality. The mediatorís role does not include that of attorney for either or both parties to mediation, and each party understands the mediatorís job is not to impose a resolution upon the parties but to facilitate their reaching their own agreement.
2. COUNSELING. The reasons the parties reached their decision to separate or to end their marriage are matters to be dealt with by marriage counselors or other properly trained therapists and do not come within the purview of mediation.
3. COMPENSATION OF MEDIATOR. The mediator, David A. Titman, is compensated at the rate of $370 per hour in the conduct of mediation sessions and in the preparation of the settlement agreement. If a redraft of the agreement is requested or if there is a drafting of a memorandum of understanding, should the parties not reach resolution of all the issues, the mediatorís charge is $370 per hour.
4. MEDIATION FEE DEPOSIT. Upon signing the agreement for mediation, the parties will give the mediator $2500 which is an advance deposit to cover the anticipated costs of mediation. If this deposit becomes depleted, the mediator may require additional deposits to maintain adequate funds to continue the mediation process without interruption.
5. RETURN OF DEPOSIT. If, for any reason, the deposit is not expended in mediation or for the drafting of an agreement, memorandum or other document, the unused portion, of such deposit shall be returned to the parties by the mediator. Such refund will be paid jointly to the parties unless otherwise agreed upon in advance.
6. COMMUNICATION WITH MEDIATOR. The parties may speak with the mediator outside the presence of the other if either party or the mediator so desires. The mediator will withhold such information from the other party if requested to do so and such information is not of a factual matter that both parties are entitled to know.
7. CONFIDENTIALITY OF MEDIATION. The mediator and the parties mutually agree with one another as follows:
a. Mediation is a process for reaching settlement of a dispute which may involve litigation.
b. All communications made during mediation shall not be disclosed by the parties or mediator in any other proceeding.
c. The parties will not attempt to use the mediator as a witness in any other proceeding.
d. The parties accept that the confidentiality of mediation is necessary for the effectiveness of the mediation process.
e. Notwithstanding the above, the mediator will report any allegations of abuse of any children of the parties which he learns of during mediation.
10. FULL DISCLOSURE. Each party shall disclose in the presence of the other party, all information and writings, including but not limited to financial statements, and income tax returns requested by the mediator or the other party if such disclosure will assist the parties in reaching settlement.
11. LEGAL COUNSEL. Although the mediator, David A. Titman, is a licensed attorney in the State of Maryland, each party understands that he is not acting as the legal representative for either party in his capacity as mediator or in the drafting of any settlement agreement. The parties are specifically advised and encouraged to seek independent legal advise prior to signing any mediated settlement agreement. The parties acknowledge that they understand that they have the right to individual attorneys, and that the waiver of that right should not be done without the most serious consideration.
12. TRANSFERS OF PROPERTY. Neither party shall transfer, encumber or in any way dispose of any tangible or intangible property except in the usual course of business or for the necessities of life, unless agreed to by the spouse. Proposed transactions affecting ten percent or more of the total assets shall be reported to the other party no less than ten days in advance of the contemplated transaction.
13. PREPARATION OF BUDGETS. Preparation of budgets by each party, when alimony or child support or both are claimed is essential. Budgets should reflect the most realistic expectation of each partyís anticipated expenses, including responsibility for expenses for any children. Budgets may be adjusted as necessary to be consistent with each partyís income.
14. PARTICIPATION OF CHILDREN AND OTHERS. Children for whom custodial arrangements are being made and other persons having a direct interest in mediation may participate in mediation sessions related to their interests at the discretion of the mediator.
15. TEMPORARY COURT ORDER. Either party may request a court of competent jurisdiction to issue a temporary injunction without advance notice to the other party:
a. Restraining a party from transferring, encumbering, concealing or disposing of property, except in the usual course of business or for necessities of life.
b. Enjoining a party from molesting or disturbing the other party or any child.
c. Excluding a party from the family home or from the home of the other party when there is evidence that physical or emotional harm would otherwise result.
16. EXECUTION OF SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT. The settlement agreement shall be prepared and submitted to the parties by the mediator as follows:
a. When parties agree on all issues.
b. When parties have agreed on some issues. The agreement shall reflect the issues agreed upon and shall specify the position of each party regarding those issues not resolved.
c. Neither party will be bound by agreements entered into by them in the course of mediation until and unless both parties have signed such agreement, and each partyís obligation will be defined by the terms of such agreement, and not by discussions during mediation leading to such agreement should such discussions differ from the agreement.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, this Agreement is signed by the parties
and DAVID A. TITMAN this day of , 2003.
David A. Titman