Andrew Bestafka, Monmouth County Divorce Lawyer

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As you and your partner look to move forward with your separate lives, the process of mediation can provide you both with the means to work out long-term, mutually acceptable resolutions to any of the outstanding disputes that are currently preventing you from finalizing your divorce agreement. In an effort to help familiarize you with what mediation will entail, we have provided answers to a few basic questions about this process below. If you would like to discuss the particulars of your situation with a Monmouth County mediator at Monmouth Divorce Mediation, LLC, please call our Monmouth County offices at (732) 955-2050 today.

What is divorce mediation?

At its most basic, mediation is an informal form of conflict resolution wherein an impartial third party—referred to as the mediator—helps facilitate mutually acceptable resolutions for disputing parties. During the process of divorce mediation, couples work with a mediator to resolve any of their disputes in an effort to achieve a divorce agreement that is agreeable to both parties. Since resolutions are achieved by both partners, the divorce agreements that are reached during meditation are often more sustainable and beneficial to every member of the family.

What are the advantages of mediation?

Since the mediator is only there to help facilitate the resolution of disputes, rather than to pass judgment, you and your partner will have complete control over the outcome of the mediation process. Divorce agreements that are achieved through mediation are often more sustainable than others since each partner will need to be satisfied with all of the aspects of the agreement; this mutually beneficial method of marriage dissolution may be particularly important when children are involved. Aside from these core advantages, mediated divorces are typically less expensive, more quickly achieved, and totally confidential.

What will the mediator do?

The mediator will be there to help you and your partner resolve your disputes so that you will be able to finalize your divorce agreement. Since mediators do not pass judgment on these disputes, your mediator will simply be helping you and your partner communicate with one another about areas of compromise that each of you may be willing to pursue. In some circumstances, a mediator may choose to meet with you and your partner separately to engage in private discussions that may help move you both toward resolution. Throughout the process, your mediator will be there to help you facilitate a non-confrontational setting where you and your partner will be able to engage in open conversation about your disputes.

Do I need legal representation during mediation?

Though mediation is intended to be non-confrontational in nature, you and your partner should both consider retaining independent legal counsel for the duration of the mediation process. Aside from providing you with general legal advice, your attorney may speak on your behalf during mediation sessions should you wish him or her to do so. In any case, your attorney will be an advocate for your interests throughout the process of mediation. Moreover, your attorney can help you draft all the legal documents that will be required of you prior to, during, and following mediation.

What if our disputes are not resolved during mediation?

If you and your partner are not able to reach an agreement through mediation, you will still be able to pursue other forms of divorce. As rare as these instances may be, some disputes may be so deeply rooted that achieving a mutually agreeable solution will be next to impossible. Since mediators do not pass judgment on disputes, it may become necessary to pursue a form of divorce where some form of final judgment may be passed to end the dispute—through a litigated or arbitrated divorce, for instance.

How does mediation differ from other divorce proceedings?

Mediation is distinct from other divorce proceedings, which include contested divorces and collaborative divorces. In contested divorces, each spouse will have a lawyer representing them and will proceed to trial to have a judge determine the final outcome of the divorce proceedings, their division of assets, and child custody and support. Couples choose these types of proceedings when they cannot achieve compromises or decisions outside of court like in a collaborative divorce. Mediation, on the other hand, involves a single mediator instead of two attorneys and settles divorce issues outside of court in a collaborative and amicable manner. Other collaborative divorce proceedings are similar to meditation but may involve the use of more than one attorney in their compromising efforts. For more information, contact a Monmouth mediator at (732) 955-2050.

What are the benefits of divorce mediation?

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Mediation carries with it a number of benefits. Mediation allows for a faster and simplified process by utilizing a single mediator instead of two or more attorneys and by allowing each spouse to make collaborative decisions concerning their divorce instead of a judge having power over final decisions. This gives each spouse more power to decide what is best for them and sets a precedence of cooperation that will extend into future interactions after the divorce. Additionally, because the mediation process is usually faster and involves fewer attorneys, mediation proceedings are less expensive and complex than other methods. If you have any further questions, contact Monmouth Divorce Mediation, LLC at (732) 955-2050.

What kinds of things are discussed and decided during mediation?

Everything that is discussed and decided upon in a trial or collaborative divorce proceeding will be discussed during mediation, though these same decisions may be easier to make. Issues that may be discussed include division of assets, alimony and child support, child custody and visitation schedules, the division of debts, protection of estates, and decisions regarding future interactions, among a number of other divorce proceedings. A mediator supplies possible solutions and compromises to disputes that may arise during proceedings and encourages calm collaboration in place of hostility and noncooperation.

If you have any questions about divorce or mediation proceedings, please contact Monmouth Divorce Mediation, LLC at (732) 955-2050 for more information.