Divorce Mediation is one of the options available to couples who are seeking a divorce or legal separation without having to go to court. Couples who choose Divorce Mediation have issues they need to work out and wish to resolve those issues with the help of a neutral mediator instead of going to court and having a judge make those decisions for them. If you and your spouse have both decided to end your marriage through a divorce or you both want to obtain a legal separation, and you wish to do so through a process that will minimize the costs and the negative impact on your family, then mediation may be the best choice for you.
Mediation is well-suited for couples who are willing to work together with a mediator to resolve their differences. Couples who choose Divorce Mediation must be willing and able to express their needs and desires. Mediation requires open, honest communication by both participants. The participants do not have to agree on all of the issues before entering into the process, but they must be willing to be open-minded about the options for resolution of those issues.
If you believe Divorce Mediation is an option for you, contact me today at (631) 979-3480 to arrange a free consultation for you and your spouse.
What is Divorce Mediation?
Divorce Mediation is a process in which a neutral person(s) facilitates communication between the participants (the couple), and, without deciding the issues or imposing a solution on them, helps them to reach a mutually agreeable resolution to the issues in their divorce.
What is the Role of the Mediator?
The mediator acts as a facilitator, not an advocate, judge, jury, counselor, or therapist. The mediator assists the participants in identifying issues, reducing obstacles to communication, maximizing the exploration of alternatives, and helps the participants reach a voluntary agreement.
How Does the Mediator help the Participants Reach an Agreement?
The mediator guides the participants' conversation and discussion of issues that are important to them. The mediator will assist the participants in assessing the strengths and weaknesses of their potential solutions. The mediator will not tell the participants what to do or suggest a particular outcome.
How Does the Mediation Process Work?
The process will include at a minimum, an opportunity for both participants to be heard, the identification of issues to be resolved, the generation of alternatives for resolution, and, if the participants reach an agreement on all the issues, the development of a Separation or Settlement Agreement.
What About Confidentiality?
All memoranda, work product and other materials contained in the case files of the mediator and the couple's case are confidential. Any communication made in, or in connection with, the participants that relates to the controversy, including screening, intake, and scheduling a session, is confidential.
Do Both Participants Have to Exchange Information?
Both participants to the mediation are expected to be open and honest throughout the mediation process. Participants are expected to disclose all information relative to the issues so that any agreement reached between the participants is made by fully informed participants.
How Do I Know My Side Will be Heard?
Both participants to the mediation are expected to respect the rights of each other. Both participants play an equal part in the mediation process. To that end, each participant is asked to allow their spouse to speak without interruption, express his or her feelings and opinions without judgment, and to be open-minded to the ideas and solutions generated by the other spouse.
Can The Mediator(s) Give Me Legal Advice?
No, because the mediator acts as a neutral, the mediator cannot give legal advice to either of the participants. The mediator can instruct the couple during a mutual session about the basic requirements under the state's matrimonial laws, but the mediator cannot provide either spouse actual advice on the legal ramifications of those laws on the individual participant. Each spouse is encouraged to seek the advice of independent legal counsel at any time they have a concern about their legal rights. Because any mediated matrimonial agreement will affect the legal rights of both spouses, each spouse should have any Separation or Settlement Agreement generated through the mediation process reviewed by independent counsel prior to signing the agreement.