Divorce Mediation – A Real Alternative to Traditional Divorce Mediation?
Divorce mediation is an alternative non-custodial solution used commonly and successfully by many married couples wishing to divorce, and also by domestic partners wishing to separate and work out their differences. Divorce Mediators Long Island can help with the process of divorce mediation. Divorce mediation offers couples the opportunity to plan their future together rationally, in an atmosphere of trust and respect, as well as providing a modicum of impartiality at a potentially emotional time in your life. A mediator is unbiased and objective, allowing you to focus on things that are important to you.
Under the terms of a divorce mediation, the parties enter into a “table” setting, where they meet with a licensed divorce mediator for a pre-settlement discussion. After entering into this dialogue, the mediator then presents a proposed settlement to both parties, offering them a range of options that they can consider. It is not unusual for the spouses to then make “concessions” to get to the settlement offer they are most interested in. Divorce mediation is designed to offer couples a neutral forum in which to communicate their issues in a calm manner, while taking the least possible sides in an effort to get to a fair settlement.
While a divorce mediation is generally conducted in the office of an experienced divorce lawyer, there are some instances where it may be advantageous to try mediation without an attorney present. If a spouse has filed a motion to intervene or wants a trial but would like the help of an attorney, then it is very helpful to have the input of a neutral third party in order to decide what the best course of action is for them. An experienced divorce mediator will have access to relevant information that your spouse may not know; such as how each state’s statutes and laws apply to their particular situation, the difference between a trial and a settlement, the rights of a dependent spouse, child custody laws, spousal support, modification agreements, child visitation, child custody laws, alimony, self-disclosure provisions, etc. (this may all be covered separately by your spouse’s attorney, if they are representing you) and will be able to provide his or her expertise and impartiality on the matter.
One major benefit to divorcing couples who use divorce mediation is the ability to remain calm during what can often be extremely painful sessions. Some couples express fear that speaking openly, even to a professional divorce mediator, will result in further tension with their significant other and lead to a long court battle. While discussing one’s differences is never a good idea, it is important to remember that the goal of a divorce mediation is to facilitate communication between the divorcing parties. While it is perfectly alright and even encouraged to disagree with one another, it is not healthy to allow nasty fighting to dominate the dialogue. A divorce mediator is well-trained in providing a non-judgmental and objective way to address difficult issues.
In addition, many couples choose divorce mediation because they believe that going to trial will be costly, time-consuming and unpleasant. In fact, litigation typically costs more and time-consuming than divorce mediation. Many people also do not want to subject their children to the lengthy, expensive, emotional ordeal of a long divorce trial. If a contested divorce is not reasonably easy to come to an agreement upon, the time and money saved by using divorce mediation could make the situation better for everyone.
There is no perfect remedy for marital problems, but the best course of action is always to try to reach an agreement between both parties. When the divorce mediation takes place, the mediator plays an unbiased role, much like a judge does during a traditional trial. Mediation does not take sides in any way and neither party is forced to admit or deny what is said during the sessions. Through the use of neutral, third-party eyes, an unbiased arbitrator can ensure that both parties are given a fair opportunity to present their case and to have their say.
The vast majority of divorcing couples do not agree on all aspects of their divorce. This often leads to a lot of wasted time and money for both parties. Divorce mediation, while not completely eliminating all arguments, will at least allow the divorcing couple to focus on the important matters rather than engage in emotionally charged battles over petty issues. Even if a particular area of contention is not resolved, the cost of the divorce mediation and the cost of pursuing a battle over it are generally minimal compared to the high cost of a prolonged court battle.
Unfortunately, there are some individuals who believe that mediation is an ineffective substitute for legal proceedings, or that attorneys offer an unfair advantage in cases involving domestic violence or child abuse. There is nothing to indicate that one side or the other is favored in this case. However, when one or both of the parties feels that divorce is the best option for them, the benefits of using the process known as mediation greatly outweigh any perceived disadvantage.