Divorce does not need to be an expensive, and emotionally draining court battle. In divorce mediation, both parties meet confidentially with a neutral third party — the mediator. They discuss, negotiate, and resolve their differences so that they may reach an agreeable divorce settlement. Topics talked about during mediation can include division of property, child custody and visitation, child support, spousal support, taxes, and wills and trusts.
Mediation Reduces Conflict
Mediation is particularly important for divorcing couples with children, as it opens the lines of communication and sets an example for successful co-parenting in the future. As the mediator does not “work for” either party, he or she does not provide advice. The mediator, instead, helps to keep the parties focused on the tasks at hand and arrive at a compromise more quickly and efficiently than if they had attempted to negotiate on their own.
Mediation is Confidential
Unlike court litigation, which is in the public domain, mediation is private and confidential. High-profile couples, including prominent business owners and celebrities, often choose mediation over a court divorce. This is in order to keep the details of their divorces out of the public eye.
Mediation also protects children from the emotionally damaging effects of a court battle. Nothing that is said during a mediation session may be used by either spouse in court at a later date. Because mediators can not testify in a court case, divorcing couples in mediation are able to communicate freely without fear of a negative impact.
Mediation Protects Assets
Even though divorcing spouses in mediation are encouraged to consult experienced family law attorneys for advice, legal fees in a mediated divorce are significantly lower than in a divorce that is fought in court.
Mediation Requires a Willingness to Compromise
Mediation only works when both parties are willing to actively and openly participate in the negotiation process. When a spouse refuses to cooperate, hides assets or information, or is unwilling to negotiate, mediation will not be successful.
Mediation is Not Right for Everyone
Marriages that have experienced abuse or domestic violence may not be appropriate situations for mediation. One in three women and one in four men have been a victim of domestic violence in their lifetime.
In many instances of domestic abuse, there are threats and imbalances of power. Therefore, it is difficult to ensure that decisions made during mediation are not made under pressure. If a couple with orders of protection elects to mediate their divorce, the restraining orders must be changed to allow contact at the specific time and location where mediation takes place.
Choose an Experienced and Qualified Divorce Mediator
Choosing a divorce mediator will have a lasting impact on the speed and efficiency with which your divorce is settled. It is important to choose a qualified mediator who can help you and your spouse come to a thorough and fair resolution. A good mediator will also lower your risk of having to return to court in the future.
Port Jefferson Station divorce mediation attorney James R. Winkler, Esq., brings decades of family law experience and the highest levels of expert mediation training to your divorce. He can help you find an agreeable resolution to your marital difficulties. Contact the law offices of Winkler Kurtz, LLP, or call (631) 928-8000 today to schedule a complimentary consultation today.