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Providing Representation through the Mediation Process in Suffolk & Nassau Counties
Divorce can be a tremendously difficult experience, both emotionally and financially. Many couples have misconceptions about the process and might not be aware that there are alternatives to a courtroom battle. Pursuing an uncontested divorce through mediation can be a cost-effective and financially beneficial solution for many spouses. Mediation is a voluntary process in which couples work together to resolve conflicts which can arise in a divorce. When both parties can agree to the terms and conditions of their divorce without the need for litigation, divorce can be a relatively simple process.
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What Happens During Mediation?
During mediation, both parties of the divorce meet with a trained, neutral mediator who will attempt to facilitate a plan for the family. The mediator will not play the role of a judge and makes no decisions. Instead, a mediator will allow both parties to speak and represent themselves in order to reach agreements. Attending mediation opens the lines of communication between spouses regarding issues directly concerning their divorce, gives them the opportunity to resolve conflicts and can create a mutual agreement that works best for the entire family.
Every facet of a divorce can be resolved through mediation including issues surrounding child support, child custody, spousal support and the division of property. Once an agreement is met, it will be sent to the Court, and with the Court’s approval, can be made a Court Order. If both spouses are unable to come to an agreement, the case can be sent to court where any remaining issues will be resolved by a judge. Even when two spouses cannot resolve every issue, mediation can still facilitate many agreements, making the process simpler.
How to Prepare for Mediation
Couples are finding great success with mediation, whether it be for divorce or another family law matter. Mediation gives an aspect of control that is missing from a court hearing, and it allows for peaceful negotiations. Still, it is recommended that you perform your due diligence by preparing for your upcoming session. There are a lot of variables that get thrown into play during mediation, so being organized will help move the process along faster.
Here are several tips that will help you better prepare for your upcoming session:
- Mediation is designed for both sides to be transparent, so be prepared to expect the unexpected.
- Be prepared to actively listen, as it will show respect for the other party, as well as naturally transition the conversations.
- Create a list of comments, questions, or concerns for your mediator
- If applicable, speak with your attorney before and after the session
- If applicable, create a parenting plan to propose to the other party
- Study the laws and statutes of the issues you wish to discuss
Remember, mediation is about working together to solve problems amicably. Both parties should come out holding their heads up high. If you have further questions about how you can prepare, call our Long Island mediation lawyers today for additional information.
Why Choose Mediation?
Couples who are able to reach decisions and resolve disputes on their own will have more control and flexibility when setting the exact terms of a divorce. When a case goes to court and is left up to a judge, control is taken out of the spouse's hands and neither party may receive what they want. This can be especially important when children are involved. Judges will decide issues of child custody based on what is in the best interest of the child, meaning concerns of the parents are generally be considered later if at all.
Benefits of mediation can include:
- Cost-effective: Mediation does not require a courtroom battle, or a judge to preside over decisions. Generally, there are only a few parties involved including the couple, the mediator, and legal representation if desired. With no need for these expenses, mediation can be a less expensive alternative to a contested divorce.
- Time-efficient: Although there is a mandatory waiting period which no method of divorce can circumvent, mediation is also among the fastest methods for divorce. Disputes fought in the courtroom can potentially last for years, leaving couples financially and emotionally drained. Even when cases do end up in court, agreements during mediation can drastically decrease the length of your pending divorce case.
- Mutually beneficial: As couples have control over each issue in mediation, spouses who choose this route generally experience a greater amount of satisfaction with the end results. Litigation can end with a court order that is not in the best interest of either spouse.
- Private: No couple wants their private lives to be on display. Courtroom battles are often a matter of public record and issues disputed in court may be openly viewed. Mediation, however, does not take place in the courtroom and all matters which are discussed remain private. Even if mediation breaks down, no information which was discussed can be used later in court.
Divorce, mediation, and family law can be complex and if you have any questions about what is in the best interest of your family, do not hesitate to contact our Long Island mediation lawyers. Every family will have a unique situation and what is best for you will depend largely on your financial situation, goals, and the needs of your children.