What is Mediation?
The definition adopted by the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators is:
Mediation is the process in which a trained neutral person, called a mediator, facilitates the resolution of a dispute between two or more parties. Mediation is non-adversarial with the objective of helping the parties reach a mutually acceptable agreement.
When do you use Divorce Mediation?
Mediation can be used to resolve any dispute, but most commonly is used in family and divorce matters
Who can benefit from Divorce Mediation?
Willing participants who are open to resolving their differences can benefit from divorce mediation. For a divorcing couple it is normal for there to be bitterness, sadness, anger, and other emotions, but there are very few couples who cannot benefit from mediation.
What is the goal of Mediation?
The goal of Mediation is to have the parties, in the case of Divorce Mediation, the husband and wife, walk away with an agreement they find acceptable, an agreement that will allow the parties to continue to co-parent their children, if children are involved. This will enable the children to be happy and healthy with the continued involvement of both of their parents despite the divorce. The goal is also to maximize both parties’ financial security after the divorce. The decision to mediate already saves thousands of dollars in attorney and expert fees.
How do I choose a Divorce Mediator?
In the state of New Jersey there are presently no licensing requirements to become a Divorce Mediator. Just about anyone can call him/herself a Mediator. Through the NJAPM, professionals can take the a 40 hour course and be "accredited". Here at Dignified Separation all mediators have taken this course. If you choose an ineffective mediator you will waste time and money.
How does Mediation differ from a traditional divorce/litigation?
Divorce Mediation is an opportunity to maintain control of your lives. In a traditional divorce you give up that control to attorneys and judges. In divorce litigation most of the time the goal will be to make the other party look as bad as possible. The attorneys posture, typically taking unreasonable positions, and thousands of dollars are wasted often with nothing to show for it. Also, in a traditional divorce, the children can slip through the cracks and many are ruined in the process. So much time is wasted and if your case needs to be tried, you may wait over a year for a trial date. While most divorces are stressful, with Divorce Mediation, you will stay in control of your lives; we will have an opportunity to work toward an acceptable solution in the best interests of the children; and you will save a tremendous amount of money, maintaining as many assets as possible. It is simply more civilized, more time efficient, and safeguarded from making costly mistakes since you will also benefit from independent legal advice from your own review attorneys who will usually charge only a modest fee to review your Agreement, give you advice about it, and put through an uncontested divorce very simply.
How long does it take for a Divorce Mediation?
The average mediated case takes about 3 to 5 sessions of between 1-2 hours each. Many cases are resolved in just one session and others may take longer. Each case is unique. There may be evaluations or appraisals needed, tax advice or other areas requiring the special attention of other professionals, but the goal is to keep moving forward to resolve all issues.
After Mediation, how long will it take to be divorced?
If you want to put through the divorce right away you can do so in about 2 months. However, if for example, medical insurance or a desire to file a joint tax return is an issue, couples can opt to put off the final judgment of divorce and live with their agreement after it has been reviewed and signed in front of their attorneys.
Should independent attorneys be used with divorce mediation?
At any stage in the process each of the parties is free to consult an attorney. Many choose to have an initial consultation with their own attorney before mediating, others consult throughout the process, while some couples choose to bring their own attorneys to the mediation.
What are the advantages of Mediation?
The couple makes their own decisions about parenting issues, finances, and how their lives will be pending the divorce and after the divorce. They will live by an agreement they have made instead of being told what they must do by a judge after spending thousands of dollars fighting in Court and waiting for months or years to be heard.
HEALTHIER FOR THE CHILDREN
Mediation is particularly important when children are involved. In Court no one is representing the children and they often get lost if not ruined by the animosity that abounds in the litigated case. In Mediation, the children will come first. Their individual needs can be taken into account. We will help you come up with a parenting plan outlining when the children will see each parent, how they will be taken to their activities, how holidays and other special events can be shared with the children and each parent. The parenting plan can be customized in ways that would not ordinarily happen in a litigated case. The goal in Mediation is to have healthy and happy children that still have the voice and presence of both of their parents. The goal will be to maximize consistency and stability. The children will be emotionally healthier with two parents who even though will not remain together will nevertheless continue to work together for their benefit some support before and/or after the divorce.
COSTS ARE DRASTICALLY REDUCED
Divorce mediation saves thousands of dollars. In Mediation you pay one hourly fee, no one asks for an up-front retainer so the couple often saves about $10,000 in retainer fees alone. It has been said that the average cost of Divorce in New Jersey is $25,000 each or $50,000 for the couple. The average cost of Divorce Mediation is $2,000. You will not be billed at $600 to $900 per hour for two attorneys traveling and then standing around waiting in Court, or for writing nasty letters back and forth. Each time the couple meets with us for a mediation session a lot will be accomplished and no time is wasted.