Divorce Mediation

Mediation is one process of alternate dispute resolution. Divorce mediation is a process that is used to help reach an amicable agreement without a lengthy court battle. The mediator is a neutral third-party, trained to facilitate negotiations between the parties with the goal of reaching an amicable resolution.  If resolution is achieved, the mediator prepares a Memorandum of Understanding which is a written, confidential, and non-binding document used to aid the parties in reaching final settlement.  Effective representation of clients participating in mediation requires the same level of preparation, diligence and assertiveness required in any case. The outcome of a mediation session depends, to a large degree, on the preparation of both the attorney and the client, as well as the ability of the client to compromise on settlement terms.  Having served as a mediator, or representing a client in a divorce mediation, we know that what lawyers do can make a big difference in the outcome.

Frequently Asked New Jersey Divorce Mediation Questions

How is divorce mediation different from litigation?

In traditional litigation, there are procedures and time frames imposed by the Court and Court Rules relative to evidence and discovery must be followed. Conversely, mediation is a more flexible process, empowering the parties to control the negotiations and settlement, and to use stipulations for items such as the value of the marital home.

Do I need a lawyer during mediation?

While not required, it is encouraged that an attorney accompany a client to mediation. This is a discussion that will be undertaken with each individual client, based on the facts and circumstances of their particular matter. At Lawrence Law, we are familiar with the mediation process. All of our attorneys are experienced in the mediation process and can advise a client during the mediation process. Since the mediator cannot give the parties legal advice, having an attorney accompany a client during the sessions is prudent.

Is mediation effective?

Mediation can work for a vast majority of clients. This is because it enables clients to make decisions and fashion solutions outside of what a Court would be able to do for the parties in a traditional litigation situation. At Lawrence Law, we have successful resolved many cases via mediation, whether via court-ordered or private mediation.

How long does divorce mediation take?

A divorce mediation may take one session if the matter does not involve complex issues. An agreement may usually be negotiated and fashioned in 2-3 sessions. Sessions usually last two to three hours, but the parties may choose to expand those sessions.

How much does mediation cost?

The cost of mediation is usually much lower than litigation, as it is typically a more expedited process.

What are the issues to be negotiated in divorce mediation?

All issues are capable of being mediated. For example, issues that may be negotiated include custody, parenting time, child support, college tuition, alimony/spousal support and equitable distribution (the division of property and assets).

When should divorce mediation be considered?

The decision to commence divorce mediation is an individual one which you should discuss with an attorney. At Lawrence Law, we can discuss the benefits of mediation and if it is right for you. 98-99% of all cases settle and often with the use of a mediator. Also, parties may choose to mediate at any stage. Mediation can commence prior to the filing of a Complaint for divorce, or even when the parties are already well into the litigation process.

How does mediation work for couples who cannot get along?

Parties can participate in the mediation using a process called caucusing. A caucus is a private meeting with the mediator, that is confidential. The mediator will go between the parties and discuss the issues of concern. If the parties cannot meet in the same room, the use of caucus can enable the parties to still mediate. This is often referred to as shuttle diplomacy and the mediator goes back and forth between conference rooms to individually meet with the parties.

What happens if one party refuses to participate?

Mediation is a voluntary process. When the parties are involved in divorce litigation, there will come a time that the court will order the parties to attend economic mediation.

What should we expect from the mediator?

The mediator will listen to each party’s concerns and goals. The mediator will guide the parties as they negotiate and fashion their agreement and help facilitate the resolution of issues.

 

Blog
Tax Issues for Divorced or Separated Individuals

The IRS, Publication 504, outlines a host of tax filing requirements for people who are married or separated when filing their annual tax returns. You are considered divorced for the entire year if you are divorced on any day in a given tax year. This is true even if you got divorced on December 31. …

Read More
News
Jeralyn Lawrence Installed as First Vice President of the New Jersey Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers

Jeralyn Lawrence, founder and Managing Partner of Lawrence Law, was installed as First Vice President of the New Jersey Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers on June 8, 2019. She previously served as Second Vice President of the Chapter, as well as in other positions in the Academy. The American Academy of Matrimonial…

Read More
News
Kristyl M. Berckes, of Lawrence Law, Elected to the Board of Trustees of the Somerset County Bar Association

Kristyl M. Berckes, a matrimonial and family law attorney with Lawrence Law, was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Somerset County Bar Association on June 4, 2019. Her term is for 2 years and will begin when she is installed on Thursday, September 12, 2019. The Somerset County Bar Association was founded in…

Read More
Blog
Criminal Charges: Interference with Custody

In New Jersey, people who interfere with custody can face criminal charges.  While rare, however, it can be effective when someone defies a court Order enforcing custody and parenting time. In a recent New Jersey case (State v. Thomas), a mother was convicted of third-degree interference with custody.  She took her daughter to a make-up…

Read More
News
Lawrence Law to Participate in Watchung-Warren Rotary Club’s Whole Health and Wellness Expo

Lawrence Law is proud to exhibit at the Watchung-Warren Rotary Club’s Whole Health and Wellness Expo. The Expo is being held on Saturday, June 15, 12:30 – 4:00 p.m at the Watchung Hills Regional High School. This fun, family event will include health screening, food tastings, door prizes, raffles, face painting and more. All proceeds…

Read More
Call Us