Divorce would be a difficult enough transition if it were simply a restructuring of living accommodations, family relationships, property, and finances. But it is always complicated by a high level of emotional stress. If you live in New Jersey and are planning to divorce, you may want to consider the advantages of divorce mediation, a process that can take some of the sting out of a painful time in your life. At Bozanian McGregor LLC in Paramus, we will listen empathically to the details of your situation, give you our advice, and help you follow through on your best options.
For many couples, divorce mediation can be extremely helpful since, unlike adversarial divorce, it is designed to have the couple work collaboratively with an objective third party. If you decide that mediation is the right course of action, we will set you and your spouse up with one of our professional mediators. Generally, mediation will take three to six sessions to complete, although much depends on your particular circumstances.
You can count on our well-trained mediator to assist you and your divorcing spouse in crafting a divorce agreement that works for you and your family by guiding you to communicate productively with one another and to work towards a resolution acceptable to both.
A Broad Range of Clients Benefit From Divorce Mediation
As an inclusive practice, our skilled attorneys assist clients from a wide variety of backgrounds, including couples of all races and ethnicities, those with high-net-worth or moderate incomes, same-sex couples, and couples with children and without. It should be noted, however, that mediation is not appropriate in all cases. If your marriage has involved domestic violence, child abuse, criminal behavior, or addiction, for example, it will usually have to be litigated.
Divorce mediation allows both parties to resolve key issues like property division, child custody, and child support without court filings, courtroom appearances, and the tension and possible publicity that accompany a trial. In contrast to litigation, divorce mediation:
- Is less costly and less time-consuming
- Private and confidential
- Permits both parties to directly voice their concerns
- Allows the couple, not a judge, to determine the terms of their divorce agreement
- Lowers pain and stress, especially important when children are involved
Mediation gives you more control of the situation, more opportunities to have your needs and goals met, and more input into the document that will set the course for the next phase of your life.
Preparing for the Mediation Process
Before mediation can begin in earnest, the mediator must have access to information about the couple’s marital assets, including:
- Real estate property
- Bank accounts
- Valuables (e.g. jewelry, artwork, collections)
The better prepared you are, the more ground can be covered during your first mediation session. It will be helpful to have with you:
- Recent pay stubs
- Past W-2s and/or 1099s
- Certified copy of your marriage certificate
- Copy of any existing prenuptial or postnuptial agreement
- List of assets and debts, including real estate deeds, mortgage statements, bank accounts, retirement accounts, and investments, and records of any credit card debt
This information will enable the mediator to start discussions about the division of marital property and debts, one of the primary topics that must be covered during the divorce process. Of course, if there are children in the family, the issues surrounding the children are of crucial importance. Child custody, parenting time, and child support are sensitive areas in which the mediator’s calming influence can be invaluable.
The more prepared you are, the more smoothly divorce mediation will go. But preparation involves more than gathering documents and data. You must prepare yourself to communicate effectively with your soon-to-be former spouse. Fortunately, our mediator has the skills to prepare you to listen as well as speak and engage in thoughtful compromise. Divorce mediation is a challenging process that requires patience to work through your issues. Let us show you the way, expediently mediate your divorce and help you move on.
The mediator has no vested interest in either client. Rather the mediator’s goal is to keep the couple focused on resolving issues, rather than disputing them. The mediator will steer the discussion away from past complaints and toward current resolutions. In some cases, it will be helpful for the mediator to meet with each individual separately to develop a better perspective on each one’s point of view to then bring them together for a more reasoned discussion.
It is essential to understand that the mediator is not a judge who will make decisions. The decisions will be made by you and the other divorcing spouse in accordance with your own needs and desires. The job of the mediator is to facilitate discussions that are productive rather than argumentative by keeping you on track to reach your destination. Once you reach an agreement acceptable to both of you, we can draft it and have it approved by the court.
Why You Need an Experienced Divorce Mediator
Having a skilled, seasoned mediator can mean the difference between achieving a mutually beneficial outcome and needing to litigate your divorce. The mediator’s job is to:
- Clarify the rules and procedures of mediation
- Guide you through the mediation sessions
- Help you negotiate a fair settlement
- Prepare and submit the divorce agreement to the court
While your individual attorney will not participate directly in the mediation sessions, you should have proper legal representation for this process and have your attorney review the agreement before signing.
Contact Our Experienced Divorce Mediators Today
If divorce mediation sounds like the right approach to divorce for you and your family, make an appointment with us now. We will answer all your questions and concerns and help you navigate the process as smoothly as possible.