Every divorce is unique and is accompanied by a different set of legal, emotional, and financial considerations. Though divorce is considered by many to be a time-consuming, stressful, and costly process, it doesn’t have to be. If you and your spouse desire a more amicable and less expensive approach to your divorce, mediation may be the perfect choice for you and your family’s unique needs.
Our team at New York Divorce Mediation Group are trained divorce mediator attorneys and clinical social workers, offering you and your family a holistic approach to your divorce. Call us today for a no-obligation, confidential consultation at (516) 749-5017 or contact us online.
What is Divorce Mediation?
Divorce mediation is a smarter alternative to litigation for resolving disputes between divorcing couples. A divorce mediator serves as a neutral facilitator for the divorcing couple by helping them reach a mutually-agreeable settlement. Mediators help couples negotiate issues regarding the division of property, spousal support, parenting plans, and child support and custody. Each mediator has his own or her own style and preferences for how the mediation takes place, which offers more versatility and flexibility to divorcing couples.
With mediation both parties get to participate in a way that they would not be able to in a trial. Divorce mediation is also a much less expensive option considering that the alternative of going to trial would mean each party would need to be represented by a different attorney.
Divorce mediation is for couples who want a holistic approach to their case without the stress, cost, or time commitment required of litigation. It’s important to note that divorce mediators do not make legal rulings or decisions. At New York Divorce Mediation Group, we believe that since the majority of cases result in a settlement, doing so by mediation is most often the best option for our clients.
What Does the Mediation Process Entail?
The divorce mediation process helps couples identify and resolve issues regarding their separation in a structured and supportive environment. The process can generally be categorized into three stages.
- The first stage of the process entails both parties meeting with the mediator in order to discuss, negotiate, and come to an agreement on all topics that need to be addressed. These topics can include all parenting plans, child and/or spousal support, budgets, and dividing assets and liabilities, among others.
- The second stage is when the mediator takes the agreements reached during the first stage and puts them into writing. These agreements can be in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding or if prepared by an attorney mediator at the New York Divorce Mediation Group a Marital Separation Agreement or Settlement Agreement.
- The third and final stage is categorized by the couple’s decision to finalize the divorce. The required divorce documents are then prepared, signed, and filed with the court.
What is the Difference Between Mediators and Litigation Attorneys?
Divorce mediators and litigation attorneys often occupy different roles. A litigation attorney represents their client’s interests and advises them on the best way to present their case in court. A divorce mediator, however, is an independent, neutral third-party who conducts mediation proceedings. A divorce mediator guides couples toward a mutually-agreeable settlement in a non-adversarial and caring environment.
Mediators do not offer legal advice, nor do they represent either party, even if the mediator is also an attorney. The goal of the mediator is to encourage the parties to communicate and reach a lasting legal agreement. Essentially, mediation allows you to speak for yourself rather than hiring a litigation attorney to speak for you.
At New York Divorce Mediation Group, our divorce mediators are also attorneys. Our holistic, comprehensive, and caring approach to each mediation case helps our clients get the guidance they need to successfully move forward.
Why Choose Divorce Mediation vs. Litigation?
Mediation is a smarter, less stressful alternative to litigation because it offers divorcing couples more privacy, creativity, and faster results. Mediation also allows couples to avoid costly and stressful litigated divorce proceedings, which can sometimes last for several months.
- Privacy. If you hire an attorney for litigation, your case is rarely private because hearings and court documents are a matter of public record. Mediation proceedings, however, are confidential, keeping you and your spouse’s personal and financial affairs completely private.
- Creativity. Mediation allows you to approach your divorce with more creative and flexible solutions than would be available in court. Because judges must follow stringent rules and written laws, the types of solutions they can offer in litigation are often more limited than in the solutions in mediation. Some of the best solutions for divorcing couples may not be available to a judge like they can in mediation.
- Faster Results. When you hire an attorney for litigation, there are countless formal procedures they must follow. Not only is this more costly, but it also can take more time. With divorce mediation, you and your spouse can set your own pace for proceedings rather than relying on the court. Additionally, mediators will have more time to handle your case than judges will, which will help you avoid long-lasting delays. Mediation cannot be postponed due to the judge’s availability or lack thereof.
- Fewer Costs. Mediation attorneys play a different role than traditional litigation attorneys. Investigation and sharing of evidence, for example, are more informal in mediation, which reduces the complexity and cost of the case. Mediation requires less time and fewer fees than litigation. This is because you are working cooperatively to reach a mutually agreeable resolution with a goal of retaining resources for your family with less fees related to court appearances or lengthy win/lose type litigation negotiations.
What to Expect During a Mediation Consultation
A mediation consultation is an opportunity to learn about your options for pursuing a non-adversarial divorce. This confidential consultation allows each person to determine and outline their expectations and needs. It also gives you the chance to see how you and your mediator will work together throughout the mediation process. An effective mediator will assist you and your spouse in the following:
- Determining and clarifying each of your specific needs
- Identifying and addressing any obstacles
- Fostering an environment of mutual respect and safety
- Managing expectations about time, cost, and effort
- Offering resources and referrals if needed
During your consultation and following meetings, your mediator will discuss several issues regarding the dissolution of your marriage. Several of the important issues addressed in divorce mediation are:
- Identification and Division of Marital Assets and Debts
- Spousal Support (Maintenance)
- Child Support
- Parenting Arrangements including Custody Issues
- Health Insurance
Because our divorce mediators are attorneys at NY Divorce Mediation Group, after the mediation is completed, one of our mediators will provide the following additional services:
- Prepare your Separation Agreement and/or Settlement Agreement
- Prepare and file your Divorce Papers
If you and your spouse are planning to get a divorce, our team at NY Divorce Mediator Group can help. As Long Island and New York state attorneys, we provide full legal services tailored to your family’s unique needs. Our goal is to help you reach a mutually-satisfactory agreement, so your family can move forward with ease. We will write your separation or divorce agreement and will submit all required legal documents to finalize your divorce. Call us today for a no-obligation, confidential consultation at (516) 749-5017.