Q: Who Can Use Mediation Services?
A: Every year in New Jersey, mediation is used thousands of couples to resolve their divorce and family law matters with minimal stress and cost. People from every walk of life have successfully used mediation, from those whose sole desire is to save money on their divorce to high net worth couples who desire more control and privacy in their divorce negotiations.
With that said, however, mediation isn’t the right choice for everyone. Generally speaking, four factors can help you determine whether or not you and your spouse are good candidates for mediation.
- You and your spouse must be willing to try and work together to resolve your dispute.
You don’t have to be on excellent speaking terms with your spouse, or even have high hopes that early in the process you’ll be able to compromise on certain issues. However, you must both be willing to try to work together. If the effort and intent is there, a skilled mediator will keep the lines of communication open and help the two of you get to work.
- You and your spouse should be interested in a win-win, instead of a win-lose outcome.
If you’re aiming to “win” your divorce and leave a “losing” ex-husband or ex-wife in your wake, then you aren’t likely to succeed through mediation. Mediation is about compromise, dialogue and understanding. On some issues, you’ll get some or even all of what you want. On other issues, the opposite will be the case. Compromise is at the heart of mediation, and if you and your spouse keep this in mind, you’ll have a better chance of making it successfully through your divorce mediation.
- You and your spouse have the patience and commitment to see mediation through to the end.
How long mediation takes all depends on the number of issues that need to be settled and the progress that you and your spouse make on this path. So while it’s certainly ideal if things can get settled rapidly, it’s possible some issues will take longer to resolve. If you and your spouse can remain patient and focused on the progress that is being made at each session, you stand a much better chance of succeeding with mediation.
- Domestic violence exists in the family.
Mediation is likely not a workable option if there has been a history of domestic violence in your family involving assault, harassment, or threats. Fair and equitable negotiation can simply not take place when one spouse feels intimidated by the other, or fears retribution outside the mediation session. If you are a victim of domestic violence or have been wrongfully accused of being the abuser, please contact the domestic violence attorneys at Weinberger Law Group, so we can assist you in an alternative means. You can still arrive at justice in your divorce, but it may require taking a different path.
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