Understanding Divorce Mediation and When to Use It
How to Determine If Divorce Mediation Is Right for You
Divorce mediation is a common form of dispute resolution that’s designed to make sure that a divorce is resolved without needing to go to court. In 2019, nearly 750,000 divorces were processed during the year, many of which went through the mediation process. If you want to avoid a lengthy and drawn-out process, divorce mediation may be right for you.
What Does Divorce Mediation Entail?
Divorce mediation is a special process that allows you and your spouse to meet with a neutral third party who can help you discuss your divorce and eventually resolve any outstanding issues. While divorce mediation isn’t always successful, it does provide estranged couples with the opportunity to finalize the divorce without needing to go to court. You may want to have a divorce attorney by your side while you attend mediation.
A professional and experienced mediator can help divorcing couples resolve some of the issues that they might still have that pertain to child custody or the distribution of property. However, mediation is mainly designed to be used by estranged couples who can still talk to each other and who don’t have substantial disagreements. Along with child custody and property division, child support can also be negotiated by a mediator.
Keep in mind that a mediator doesn’t make any final decisions and won’t provide you with legal advice. If you have questions or require legal advice, consider reaching out to a divorce lawyer to schedule a meeting. Once agreements are made on every facet of the divorce case, the mediator will likely draft a divorce settlement agreement and file it with the court, which helps to expedite the process.
Main Reasons to Mediate Your Divorce
There are many reasons why divorcing couples opt for mediation as opposed to going to court. For one, you can’t be certain that the judge will order in your favor. If you decide to fight the case in court as opposed to settling it through mediation, you could end up with a worse outcome than you anticipated. The main reasons to mediate a divorce include:
- Lowers costs
- Offers more control
- Facilitates communication
- Provides freedom
- Is confidential
- Allows for settlement
When it comes to the cost of divorce mediation, the expenses that you’ll be tasked with paying should be considerably lower compared to what it costs to go through a trial. As for confidentiality, the divorce mediation process is entirely private, which means that a public record isn’t made of the proceedings. Many cases of mediation end in a settlement, which means that every issue in the divorce can be resolved before the case is heard by a judge.
One of the primary reasons that many divorcing couples choose to go through mediation is because this process provides them with more control when compared to a divorce that goes to court. When a divorce goes to trial, the judge can make any ruling that he or she wants to, which means that one party could feel that the end result is unfair. When you go through mediation, it’s possible for both sides to be satisfied with the resolution.
In general, a successful divorce mediation simplifies the remainder of the process. Because every detail has been ironed out during mediation, it’s possible to file for an uncontested divorce, which is much more straightforward than a litigated divorce. Since a judge won’t need to make numerous decisions on their own about different facets of the divorce, they should be able to finalize the divorce in a shorter period of time.
What Occurs During Divorce Mediation?
If you’re thinking about going through mediation, you may want to understand what this process entails and what you should expect from it. While this process is designed to make a divorce less contentious, you may still have disagreements that need to be handled while mediation is ongoing. An experienced mediator should be able to handle any disagreements calmly without allowing temperatures to rise.
Before the process begins, you may be asked to give background information about your family, your marriage, and the reasons that you’re seeking a divorce. It’s also possible that you will need to sign an agreement that states that you won’t disclose any of the discussions that occur during the mediation process because the entire process is meant to be confidential for both parties.
Standard divorce mediation occurs in an office or conference room, but it can occur online as well. While it’s possible that the mediator will conduct this process with all parties in the same room, it’s more common for both parties to be separated while mediation is ongoing. During mediation, each spouse is usually able to provide the mediator with a statement before negotiations begin. The mediator might then ask some questions about what you said.
Even though divorce mediation has proven to be successful at amicably resolving divorce proceedings, it’s important to understand that some of them fail. Divorce mediation can only be successful if both parties are open to compromise. Many mediators also attempt to make sure that each spouse understands the other person’s point of view, which can be key towards resolving disagreements.
In the event that negotiations are completed and any divorce-related issues are resolved, the mediator will then work on writing a divorce agreement, which can include a parenting plan and schedule. The settlement agreement will only include the subjects that were resolved during mediation.
If any unresolved issues remain, a judge would likely need to rule on them before the divorce could be finalized. Keep in mind that a judge must still approve the settlement agreement, which doesn’t always happen. If it does, the agreement becomes part of the divorce decree, which means that both spouses must adhere to the details.
When to Contact Our New Jersey Divorce Attorney
Deciding to get a divorce is rarely easy. We aim to simplify this process so that you don’t need to handle the complicated logistics that come with completing a divorce. If you believe that now is the right time for you to file for a divorce, our New Jersey divorce attorney may be able to help you navigate the proceedings and manage any issues that arise.
During your initial consultation, our attorneys may be able to help you understand what your options are and what the next steps should be once you decide to file for a divorce. In order for us to understand what type of divorce you should seek, it’s important that we have all of the information about your situation. If you and your spouse are able to speak with each other and are in agreement about most aspects of the divorce, filing for an uncontested divorce could be a good option for you.
On the other hand, it’s common for spouses to be in disagreement over numerous facets of the divorce. In this situation, we can file for a contested divorce on your behalf, after which we will take some time to build a comprehensive case to make sure that you are provided with strong representation once the case goes to court and is taken before a judge. To find out more about divorce mediation and if it’s right for your situation, call our lawyers today.
If you’re ready to begin the divorce process and want to learn more about the options available to you, contact our Hackensack, New Jersey, divorce attorney at (201) 343-0078 or use our online form to schedule your first consultation.