Divorce Mediation Overview
Divorce Mediation is when an attorney or neutral third person meets with a divorcing couple in an attempt to come to reasonable agreements regarding the key issues in their divorce proceedings without having to go to Court. Mediation can be extremely helpful because it allows a divorcing couple to work things out without the stress of going to trial. In mediation, both parties meet with an experienced professional who will provide objective information and non-prejudicial comments. The major thing to understand in mediation is that neither party is making the decisions. It is strictly a collaborative process where each party meets with a divorce mediator with each trying to reach an agreement that they feel will be in the best interest of the children, who are the victims in this situation.
Divorce Mediation in Long Island consists of two parts: a Pre-Divorce Counseling session and a Post Divorce Mediation or Healing Session. Most often, the first session of Divorce Mediation in Long Island is held as a pre-court proceeding. The purpose of this pre-divorce counseling is to gather information and facts that will be used in the case. This gathering of information allows the divorcing couple to make better choices and more informed decisions. After the initial Divorce Mediation in Long Island session, there is a post Divorce Mediation or Healing Session.
The goal of the post Divorce mediation or healing session is to help the divorcing couple resolve any issues that they have not agreed upon during the original Divorce Mediation. At this time, the spouse requesting the mediation process has an opportunity to communicate with the other spouse and determine areas of agreement. There may be some areas of agreement where neither party desires to go further. If this is the case, the spouses are free to go into private session without the presence of the other attorney. In these private sessions, the divorce mediator helps the divorcing couple communicate about the issues that were not resolved during the original Divorce Mediation.
In the majority of cases, the spouse requesting the divorce mediation is the spouse who initiated the litigation. Once the decision to proceed with the litigation is made, another attorney is not retained by either party and both attorneys are paid their usual hourly rates. In some instances, parties may discuss some issues outside of the courtroom. However, once the litigation and Divorce Mediation is complete, the parties must report their decisions to the applicable court. If a decision has been reached, the filing party will be required to submit a final schedule and submit any necessary documents to the court. Once the final schedule has been filed with the court, the spouse filing the divorce will be served with the notice of divorce Mediation notification.
Some jurisdictions require that marital separation be preceded by a “spousal notice” from either party. This is not a legal requirement in all states, however, and may not be required by local law. In addition, most marital separation procedures take place on an “as-is” basis, meaning that there is no right or obligation to repay attorney fees. There is no reason, however, to delay or jeopardize a final outcome once a complaint has been filed in a competent court. Divorce Mediation provides a quicker resolution to a complex marital dispute, and allows both spouses the opportunity to reach an amicable conclusion to the marriage issue.
Many marital problems can be resolved through individual counseling and the provision of individual representation. However, when the parties are experiencing significant financial difficulties, joint or full representation is often helpful to the parties as it often leads to a more satisfactory outcome. Divorce Mediation can occur as a result of a request by one spouse seeking the court’s assistance in a marital problem that has become too costly for the other spouse to resolve on his/her own. The process of divorce mediation can also occur voluntarily when one or both spouses are experiencing a significant amount of marital distress and believe that a mediated resolution is the best alternative.
Divorce Mediation occurs between you and your spouse, with the mediator serving as a neutral third-party. When both parties are interested, and have decided to enter into the Divorce Mediation process, an initial consultation will be held. If at this time, both parties have agreed to try mediation, the parties will schedule an initial consultation for approximately one week, from which time each spouse will present their case to the other party and/or the mediator. At this time, both spouses will provide information to the mediator concerning their specific concerns and will agree upon an amount that they consider fair compensation for their services. The length of the mediation process will depend upon the state and county in which the parties live.
Divorce Mediation is typically completed within eight weeks from the filing of a divorce action, with the exception of cases where a motion to dismiss is filed with the court. At this point, both parties will be provided additional information by the mediator and a written report will be provided to the court along with the advice and recommendations that have been agreed upon by the parties. Divorce Mediation is not a guarantee that a successful outcome will result. In most cases, the mediators’ report will be shared with the court parties and they will decide whether or not to pursue the case. Divorce Mediation is commonly used by individuals who are experiencing a difficult family law case, or a client who is financially strapped and may not be able to retain a qualified attorney. Divorce Mediation can also be helpful in cases where an individual or couple is experiencing an immediate crisis situation, such as the imminent eviction of their home by the courts or a death in the family.