Divorce Mediation – How It Works

Mortgage negotiationIf you have concluded that it’s time to end your marriage, but you don’t perceive the need for a lengthy battle over custody, support or property, or you just want to amicably terminate the relationship, you may be a good candidate for divorce mediation. Here’s how the process works.

The first step is to identify and hire a neutral third party. Often, that will be an attorney who has been trained in mediation. It’s important to understand that the attorney does not represent either party to the mediation, but is tasked with helping both parties identify and implement mutually beneficial solutions to disagreements about custody and visitation, support and property matters.

The mediator is not a judge, either. Accordingly, the mediator won’t take testimony from witnesses, won’t consider evidence, and won’t issue any type of ruling as to who should “win” or “lose.” Though the mediator will want to hear a detailed version of the facts from both parties, the reason for doing so is to help the mediator identify what the parties need and what they might be willing to concede, so that a resolution can be crafted that both parties can accept.

The divorce mediation process typically takes far less time than litigation. First, there’s no need for an extensive “discovery” period, where the parties seek to gather and assess as much evidence as possible. The mediator will be more focused on how the parties can move forward than on what happened in the past. Additionally, you won’t have to wait months to get on the court’s docket. In most instances, mediation can be scheduled within weeks or a couple months. Furthermore, because the mediator doesn’t take testimony, the actual process is fairly short. Most divorce mediation can be completed in a day or two.

Because there’s far less time involved in the process, mediation is usually significantly less expensive than litigation. Though you can (and often will) be represented by counsel in mediation, the preparation is less time-consuming, reducing legal costs.

A final advantage to divorce mediation—it gives you a greater involvement and say in the outcome. As you work through the mediation process, you can always reject a proposal from your soon-to-be ex-spouse, and can always counter with a proposal of your own. With a good mediator, you won’t have to worry about intimidation or duress from your spouse—the mediator should perceive what’s going on and protect your interests.

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At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to people throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-234-2233.