Mediation Attorneys in Monmouth County
Alternative Resolutions to Divorce Matters
The decision to end a marriage is not only a painful one, but it opens
the door to a range of sensitive issues that don’t necessarily have
an easy resolution. Everything from the
distribution of assets to
custody of the children must be resolved. With these issues raise their head at an emotionally
charged time for all parties, the possibilities for confrontation are
high. That’s where alternative dispute resolution–namely,
mediation–can perform a valuable service to both spouses.
Mediation has been deemed so valuable by the state of New Jersey that couples
who file for divorce here are legally obligated to at least give it a
chance. One of the key principles of this process is that the mediator may
not impose a solution on the parties, so there’s no guarantee that mediation
will avoid a public confrontation at trial. But it offers the hope of
a workable solution.
Considering mediation? Call our Monmouth County divorce mediation lawyers today at
The Advantages of Mediation
A big advantage to getting a divorce settlement worked out in mediation
is financial. Based on average costs, a mediated settlement can be
six times less expensive than even a reasonably amicable divorce. The costs of a
contested divorce can further skyrocket. Mediation makes good financial
sense, so long as both spouses are willing to give it a fair shot.
The mediation process also offers a confidentiality that the courtroom
does not. Mediation sessions are private and, except in some rare circumstances,
the mediator is bound to maintain that privacy. This offers several important benefits:
- You can be conciliatory towards your spouse without fear that it will come
back to haunt you. That is, your spouse cannot take anything–be
it a substantive offer or simply kind words–and try to use it against
you at a future trial. You have the security to pursue a peaceful resolution
and not give away any leverage you might need for a courtroom.
- If you have children, you can settle your disputes without them hearing
things that you would prefer to be kept between you and your spouse. For
example, if the grounds for the divorce is adultery, both parents may
want that kept from the kids. That’s possible in mediation in a
way that it is not in court.
- Parents with children are likely to maintain some type of relationship
in the future. The way in which the divorce settlement goes down will
be the first step in the new relationship you’ll have with your
spouse. A calmly mediated settlement is a good way to start anew. A potentially
acrimonious litigation can open more wounds.
- On a practical level, mediation gives you a level of control that will
not exist in the courts. You and your spouse decide when you want to schedule
the mediation sessions. That’s certainly not the case with court
appearances. At a stressful time in the life of you and your children,
there are definite advantages to being able to set your mediation sessions
so they don’t conflict with extracurricular activities or your work schedule.
You, along with your spouse, are also in much greater control of the pace
of resolution. Bringing a divorce case to an end in court will hinge on
the judge’s timetable. Settling everything in mediation moves to
the timetable of the parties involved.
It’s not hard to understand why the state of New Jersey wants everyone
to at least try it.
Mediation offers you lower costs, more privacy, hope for better relationships
in the future and a potentially faster resolution.
The Challenges in Mediation
We don’t want to imply that mediation is always smooth sailing. That’s
not the case. There are real challenges that people face in making this
process work for them.
A prime example is when abuse was involved in the marriage. A mediator
can take this into consideration and choose to meet with each spouse separately.
Another less drastic example is when one spouse consistently imposed their
will on the other during the marriage. The victimized spouse, often motivated
by a desire to simply keep things peaceful, might have a very justifiable
fear of the dynamic repeating itself in mediation. A good mediator will
prevent this from happening and is there to provide counsel on what is
and isn’t in your best interests.
Successful mediation depends on both parties being completely transparent
with each other. If one spouse has shown a track record of deceitful behavior,
that won’t lend itself to confidence in the process. Money that’s
hidden or asset statements that are manipulated work against the very
purpose of mediation. There may be no avoiding going to court if your
spouse engages in these tactics.
Ultimately, the biggest hindrance to mediation is simply when one person
doesn’t really want it to work. Maybe they don’t want the
divorce. Maybe they’re just trying to draw out the process, with
the intention of going to trial no matter what.
The success of mediation presumes that you have two parties willing to
talk to each other, be honest and work together for a resolution that
meets everyone's concerns. When any of these components are missing, the
process is going to be a challenge.
Considering divorce mediation in Monmouth County? Call us today at (732)
585-1651 to find out how we can help
Finding the Mediator
Every couple’s personal dynamic will be unique, so what makes a good
mediator will vary from case to case. But there are some common elements
that are present in any good mediator. Their personal and professional
integrity should be above reproach in the eyes of both parties. The mediator
should have no bias toward either side, nor should they ever give off
even the appearance of partiality to one side or the other.
Mediators need to be well-trained and experienced in divorce settlements,
the better to see potential solutions that the couples might not see for
themselves. And a good mediator will have what doctors might call a “bedside
manner.” That is, the ability to put people at ease and be approachable.
Stolfe Zeigler New Jersey Family Law Group has a team of mediation attorneys,
steeped in New Jersey divorce law and experienced in the mediation process,
who can oversee your divorce settlement. We represent clients who are
going through mediation and need counsel on whether their agreement is
a fair one. Call us today at
(732) 585-1651 or
contact us here online to talk about your specific mediation needs today.