You hired a family law mediator and set the first meeting date. Now what? Here are five ways to make sure mediation sessions fulfill their purpose of helping you and your spouse arrive at divorce settlement terms both of you consider fair and equitable. Trying to resolve your divorce with a minimum wrangling and discord? Here’s how to make the divorce mediation process work for you: Read more
In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we’re taking a look at a common question about divorce mediation:
Is mediation ever appropriate when a couple has experienced domestic violence or abuse?
Some mediators would unequivocally say no. Mediation assumes that parties will keep each other’s best interests in mind and seek solutions that provide maximum benefit to both. Abuse creates a serious power imbalance and implies that an abuser is unwilling or unable to place any importance on the needs and wants of the other party.
This response is not entirely satisfactory, however, because it leaves an abused party with litigation as the only alternative. Is this really better? Read more
Disagreements about child custody and visitation are often the most emotionally challenging aspect of a divorce for parents. Sometimes both parents want primary residential custody, and sometimes one parent wants to share parenting time equally while the other does not. A less common, but often very challenging situation is that one parent wants to drastically limit the other’s visitation time and decision-making authority due to some type of concern regarding the latter’s parenting ability.
When is mediation a good vehicle for attempting resolution of these kinds of issues? Read more
Previously, we blogged about choosing mediation in a financially complicated divorce. As we discussed in that post, even though a complex mediation may take more time and involve more costs than a simple mediation, the proportional cost savings compared to litigating a case can make mediation a very attractive alternative. One of the major reasons financially complicated divorces tend to be more costly is the necessity of using experts. Choosing to use joint experts and abbreviated reports in mediation can result in considerable savings.
What kind of financial experts do couples going through divorce mediation typically need? While each case is different, the following list will give you some idea of what types of experts you might need, as well as exactly what each expert can do for you. Read more
If you follow celebrity news, you no doubt have heard about the “conscious uncoupling” between Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin. If you are going through an “uncoupling” process yourself, you may be wondering what exactly it means to make it “conscious.” Since you are reading this blog, you may also be wondering how the concept of conscious uncoupling fits into the divorce mediation process. Read more
Are you thinking of giving mediation a try, but you find yourself still wondering about the details? Perhaps you have read lots of information about how mediation can reduce conflict and costs in divorce, but you are still not quite sure what the experience will be like. What exactly goes on in a New Jersey private divorce mediation session? Read more
If you and your spouse are interested in resolving your divorce issues through mediation, but one or both of you believes that the complexity of your financial situation makes mediation an unlikely fit, you may want to rethink the possibility. While it is true that mediating a complicated case could be a lengthier and more detailed process than mediating a simple case, it is also true that litigating a complicated case generally takes more time and more attention to detail than litigating a simple case. This means that your costs are apt to be higher than normal if you go to court, but your savings from choosing mediation could also be greater than the average savings.
Negotiating with a soon-to-be-ex can be enormously challenging. You could be facing decisions that will have a long-term impact on many aspects of your life. Add to this the fact that divorcing spouses often share history that includes rough emotional terrain, and the whole idea can start to feel like too much to handle. If you need motivation to persevere, remember that unless you and your spouse can resolve your differences amicably, you will eventually find yourselves in front of a judge—letting a stranger make decisions for you that will not necessarily be any better than the decisions you could reach on your own with a bit of concerted effort. Read more
Most divorcing parents are concerned about protecting their children from the negative effects of divorce. This raises an initial question: Is divorce always bad for children? Social researchers have found this question difficult to answer—partly because no two families going through divorce are alike—but the consensus seems to be that divorce is not always bad for children. If a divorce removes a child from a high-conflict environment, the child may actually fare better after the divorce. This is because high familial conflict affects children more negatively than divorce.
It isn’t hard to understand how a child might feel relief when a high-conflict household becomes more peaceful. But what if your family is not experiencing high conflict? Read more
Perhaps you have decided that divorce mediation is the best way to go in your case, only to discover that your spouse is not open to the idea. What should your next move be? Before giving up on mediation, consider the reasons behind the hesitation. It’s possible that after receiving additional information and reassurances, your spouse will reconsider. The following are some common reasons a spouse might initially object to mediation in divorce, along with tips for how to address the objections: Read more
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