For most couples in Morris County, getting divorced does not have to be a confrontational process. Even when spouses seem to be completely at odds about key issues – such as property distribution and child custody rights – they can often work together to reach mutually-agreeable terms.
There are a number of methods available for pursuing an amicable divorce and Morris County has several programs to help individuals in a variety of situations. One option comes in the form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) known as mediation. At Riordan Family Law, our attorneys provide experienced representation for divorce mediation in addition to serving as court-approved mediators in Morris County divorces.
Contact our firm to learn more today.
Mediation is defined as “a means of resolving differences with the help of a trained, impartial third party. The parties, with or without lawyers, are brought together by the mediator in a neutral setting. A mediator does not represent either side and does not offer legal advice. Parties are encouraged to retain an attorney to advise them of their rights during the mediation process. The mediator helps the parties identify the issues, gather the information they need to make informed decisions, and communicate so that they can find a solution agreeable to both. Mediation is designed to facilitate settlements in an informal, non-adversarial manner.”
Mediation is a voluntary process that divorcing spouses in Morris County, New Jersey and elsewhere throughout the state often use to work toward finalizing the terms of their divorce settlement agreement. Couples can use mediation to address all of the issues involved in their divorce.
Or, in appropriate circumstances, they can choose to mediate individual issues – such as asset distribution, alimony or child support – while using other methods (including litigation) to resolve the more- or less-contentious issues in their divorce.
In mediation, the divorcing spouses work with a neutral third-party mediator in order to reach a compromise. Unlike arbitration and litigation, in which the neutral third party makes decisions for them, in mediation, the spouses retain the final say.
The mediator’s job is to help each spouse see the issues from the other’s point of view and to offer suggestions to help the divorcing spouses find common ground on which to settle the terms of their divorce.
So what does this really mean for parties who want a divorce? They can jointly select a private mediator, meet with him or her and mediate all the issues of their marriage, before filing a Complaint for Divorce. Many divorcing spouses do not realize that they can mediate first. They can first have an agreement resolving all the issues of the marriage and then file for an uncontested Divorce. The time it then takes to obtain the actual Divorce is weeks, not a year or more.
The only requirements for success in mediation are that both parties have the desire to cooperate, are willing to participate fully in the process, and wish to achieve an agreement. In mediation, the parties are in the driver’s seat of their divorce.
When mediation makes sense given the spouses’ current positions on the issues and their willingness to work together, it can have several benefits over other methods of dispute resolution. Some of the key benefits of mediation include:
If you would like to learn more about the divorce mediation process in NJ or find out if mediation may be a good option for your divorce, we invite you to contact us for an initial consultation. To speak with one of our experienced attorneys in confidence, call our Morris County family law offices at (973) 537-1700 or send us a message online today.