When people think of a divorce, they often think of a process that is highly combative and highly stressful. For many divorcing couples, there can be a better way than an extremely contentious adversarial process. Using mediation may allow you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse to work together in an emotionally healthier way to reach a collaborative solution that often proves to be more lasting than solutions arrived at through contested litigation. Even if you decide to go the mediation route, you still will need legal services from a knowledgeable Hoboken mediation attorney, in order to be sure you are prepared for your mediation hearing, and also to be sure you are getting a mediation settlement agreement that accurately reflects the solutions you and your spouse reached in the hearing.
Very recently, nj.com’s consumer affairs column touched on divorce mediation. The information is timely because the first quarter of any year is one of the most popular times for couples to begin pursuing a divorce.
The information is useful because not all divorcing New Jersey couples may know that there are alternatives to going through a prolonged, stressful and costly adversarial process in order to arrive at closure. Some people may see that and think… I know about uncontested divorce in New Jersey, but that’s just for divorcing couples who agree on everything, right? My spouse and I are definitely not in that situation, so what other options do we have?
Good-faith cooperation between spouses is essential
As the column highlights, mediation may be a great option for couples who have disputed issues they still need to iron out, but want to reach those solutions in a collaborative, not adversarial, way. In mediation, your mediator generally is someone who has past work history as a lawyer or a judge, according to nj.com. The process can help many couples because it is often less expensive, and it often feels less contentious and combative than litigating in court.
In order to use this option, both spouses need to agree to partake in the mediation and make a legitimate effort to negotiate in good faith working toward a mediated solution. Another thing that both spouses must do, in order for mediation to have a chance for success, is to make full and fair disclosures of all their financial information. If the mediator doesn’t have all the information, he/she can’t possibly help the spouses determine what is fair.
You also need to understand what the mediator does and does not do. The mediator is there to facilitate reaching a solution upon which both spouses can agree. The mediator is not there to give you legal advice, so you should be sure to talk to a knowledgeable Hoboken family law attorney, who can give you the advice you need, before you go into your mediation.
Once you and your spouse have agreed to pursue mediation, you’ve taken a massive step toward getting your divorce. While it’s a massive step, it’s not the only step you need to take. Both before you go into the mediation and after the mediation is over, you need legal advice that you can count on. This can include preparing you for the mediation itself and then helping you finalize your mediation agreement. For that kind of strong advice and counsel in a contested or uncontested divorce, look to experienced Hoboken family law attorney Frank Marciano. Attorney Marciano has been aiding families for many years to achieve successful results in their family law cases, whether that’s through mediation or through the litigation process. To set up a consultation, contact the office online or call 201.656.1000.