What is Divorce Mediation?
Mediation is a problem solving process where an impartial third party assists you in reaching an agreement that would be the fairest to both of you.
Mediation works successfully for many divorcing families. Mediator does not represent either of the parties but serves as an impartial arbiter that puts an effort into helping couples to find the most suitable compromise solutions to their dilemmas.
Cooperative couples more often choose this alternative while going through their divorce.
Families with high conflict need mediation even more to avoid the high costs of litigation and the deepening conflicts that result from the adversity inherent in court litigated “divorce solutions”.
Why choosing a right mediator matters?
Properly selecting a mediator will be critical to an outcome of the negotiation process. While properly trained professional will help you reach your goals, an unskilled mediator might cause you to come to a “dead end”. As the State of NJ does not license such professionals, how do you choose the right one?
In our State we have a New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators that offers accreditation to mediation professionals that have passed rigorous training courses and have met the exacting standards of this organization.
How Does it Work?
My mediation process includes an orientation session which gives us the opportunity to get to know each other.I spend most of the first mediation meeting simply listening to a couple’s mutual and divergent perspectives, gathering information, answering questions and presenting an agenda for our following meetings.
The most important goal for the first mediation meeting is to create an atmosphere where both parties will feel comfortable with the whole process and secure in the non-threatening and cooperative nature of the meetings.
During the course of the mediation process the divorcing couple will need to make many serious decisions about their assets and liabilities, parenting and child support, spousal support (if necessary) and the couple’s living arrangements.We will focus on the future and make arrangements that take all family members into consideration.
At the end of the mediation process, I prepare a Memorandum of Understanding, a detailed document outlining your divorce arrangements that will be used by one of your attorneys to create your Property Settlement Agreement.
I am a firm believer that, the direct participation of the divorcing couples in creating their own voluntary agreement, results in a document that is much more likely to be upheld and honored by both parties (as opposite to a legal decisions handed down to them by the courts).
In the mediation process, my goal is to facilitate communication, promote understanding, and assist you in reaching fully informed solutions that will work for both of you.
I realize that it is that seems fair to both sides really counts and I therefore would let your creativity be a part of the divorce mediation process.
Though we have to consider the legal statutes and case law, the mediation process still affords much latitude for you to work out an agreement that is suitable for the entire family.
Your most important goal during mediation is to prepare yourself mentally and recognize that a divorce settlement will be reached only if and when both parties’ major goals are met.
You will also need to keep in mind that divorce mediation is a negotiation process where both sides will need to work very hard in balancing an agreement and recognize that neither of you will get your “wish list”, and both of you will need to give up on some points in order to gain on the others.
I would like to stress once again that mediation process really works: statistics indicate that over 85% of all divorce mediations result in settlement.
This is true even where all prior attempts at settlement have failed, where the parties were pessimistic about the prospects of settlement, and where the parties have spent substantial amounts of time and money preparing for trial.
With such a success rate, it is wise and relatively inexpensive to try mediation. You have little to lose and a lot to gain!
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