More and more families are attracted to mediation as a way to resolve their disputes. Mediation can be used to resolve disputes related to alimony, child support, child custody, and property distribution.
In New Jersey divorce mediation, a divorcing couple works with a neutral mediator who helps you and your spouse determine the terms your Agreement. It is critical for the mediator to be neutral and not an advocate for either party.
It is recommended that both parties consult with their own, individual attorneys prior to and during mediation and prior to signing the final divorce settlement agreement often referred to as the final Matrimonial Settlement Agreement.
Very often the mediator in a divorce will outline the terms of a proposed Agreement in a Memorandum of Understanding. The parties may then take the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding to their attorney(s) to prepare a final Matrimonial Settlement Agreement which can be incorporated into a Final Judgment of Divorce.
It is critical to remember that many mediators see their role as a mediator as simply bringing people to an Agreement regardless of the ultimate fairness of the result. That is, many mediators don't focus necessarily on evenhandedness and may become focused on getting the matter resolved. This can by its very nature result in an inequitable or unfair agreement – especially to the weaker negotiating party. Many mediators simply try to get you to agree.
To avoid this, it is recommended that you consult with an experienced and knowledgeable divorce attorney who can advise you as to your rights prior to proceeding with and during mediation.
One of the primary benefits of mediation and other alternatives to litigation is that they can minimize the upheaval and financial and emotional stress you and your children will suffer:
Instead of combat in a courtroom, you and your spouse meet together in a private setting with an experienced, well-trained mediator who will help guide you and your spouse to an efficient, economical and long-lasting resolution of all issues in dispute.
While participating in mediation, each spouse is to retain their own divorce mediation attorney who will counsel privately and individually with regard to own legal rights and alternatives.
Darren O’Toole, Esquire is approved by the State of New Jersey as a trained mediator and has routinely been appointed by the Superior Court of New Jersey as a mediator in divorce and family law cases in Monmouth, Ocean, and Middlesex Counties. In addition, our attorneys serve as the Consulting Attorney for spouses in mediation.