Is Divorce Mediation Right for You?
Divorce mediation is a process through which a divorcing couple sits down in the presence of a neutral third-party mediator to discuss and resolve some or all of the pertinent issues of their divorce. The process is not necessarily right for all divorce cases.
If the following (or most of the following) are true for you, you may want to consider giving mediation a try in your divorce:
- You mutually decided to get a divorce: If you are already on the same page about the divorce being inevitable and necessary, then it is much more likely you will be willing and able to work with each other. Mediation requires much more collaboration than a divorce that involves litigation.
- You want to remain on good terms with your former spouse: You don’t necessarily have to want to be friends after your divorce, but you might find it ideal to at least maintain a cordial relationship, especially if you have children. Mediation will help you accomplish this.
- You have a thorough understanding of your financial situation: If you are to negotiate a fair, favorable financial settlement, you must totally understand your financial position. If your spouse knows much more about your finances than you do, you could be at a disadvantage.
- You are willing to stand up for yourself: Mediation requires you to speak out on your behalf, support your arguments and negotiate a favorable settlement for you. It’s important to have a divorce attorney present to ensure you are making decisions that are in your best interests.
- There is no alcoholism or abuse in your relationship: Mediation will simply not work if you are married to an abuser or to someone with serious alcohol or drug problems.
- You trust your spouse as a parent: Mediation is often a great outlet to talk about how you will continue to raise your children after your divorce. This is especially true if you trust your former spouse to continue being a good parent.
If you choose to mediate your divorce, it is important that you retain your own independent attorney to review your agreement with you to ensure that you are receiving a fair resolution and equitable resolution of all issues. Once you sign an agreement, trying to set the agreement aside is very difficult, if not impossible, particularly in the Second Department. One should be reminded that the mediator is not advocating for either party. Thus, it is not their job to tell one party if the agreement is fair or provides you with all the relief that you are entitled to.
To learn more about the benefits of mediation, meet with a knowledgeable divorce lawyer at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia, LLP.