When a marriage is ending, Divorce and Separation Mediation can benefit marital or domestic partnership breakups or dissolutions, by including:
- negotiated settlements
- custody agreements
- property settlements arrived at through mediation
- collaborative law approaches
People typically like to have control over their own lives especially when their marriage or domestic partnerships are breaking up. As lawyer and mediator our approach to resolving these life situations allow our clients to create and customize a solution to their dissolution that is their own. Parties that are the architects and creators of the terms of their own divorce or dissolution usually create agreements that are more desirable to the parties and are more committed to and more willing to live up to their terms.
What is Mediation
For many couples the decision to dissolve their relationship can devastate an entire family both emotionally and economically. The process can result in hurt, anger and severe financial difficulties. In divorce, there are no winners. The pain and financial burden can be lessened by proceeding with Mediation rather than litigation. Mediation is a process in which an impartial third party meets with a couple to help them reach a mutual and informed agreement for the terms of their separation, divorce or post-divorce dispute.
Mediation is an approach that puts the real needs and interests of the parties as well as the children first. Mediation is an informal process in which the parties themselves are in control and empowered to make their own decisions. Mediation seeks to reduce the tension and trauma of dissolution of a relationship and divorce, not increase it. This enables couples to achieve a sense of wholeness after the emotional and financial chaos of terminating their relationship/marriage.
Mediation is not an adversarial process. Instead, the mediator helps the couple work together on finding the best way of separating. Hostile feelings are reduced so that individuals can better adjust to the separation or divorce and plan for the future. Even couples who have not been able to agree on anything find themselves reaching an agreement with the help of trained Mediators. Mediation is driven by the parties and their needs, and allows them to fashion settlements that could not be achieved in the Court process.
The traditional divorce process is inherently adversarial with both parties assuming opposing positions and strategies advocated by their lawyer. Very often the Court’s determinations of the issues of a couple’s dissolution are NOT what either party wanted or imagined. We find that when couples create and help fashion the terms of their own dissolution they create an agreement that they are more committed to keeping therefore reducing the occurrence of further relief or intervention. This process also enables the couple to fashion a framework for their relationship and communication in the future and to develop the necessary tools for resolving future differences. This is especially true and important when there are children involved.
Depending upon the complexity of the issues involved, mediation can take as little as a few hours. Of course, where numerous complex issues are involved, the process can take significantly longer. During the mediation process, couples come to an agreement about issues such as child custody, support, and property division. Once the couple has settled all the above mentioned issues, our office prepares a memorandum of agreement outlining all of the terms that the couple has agreed upon. The clients can take the agreement to their own attorneys for an independent review and/or for the divorce itself.
More than 95 percent of all divorces are ultimately settled by an agreement negotiated by the attorneys for the couple. However many times it is after protracted and costly litigation. With mediation, the couple has more control and freedom to determine the issues that are really important to them, and negotiate settlements that address their own specific needs. A mediated divorce costs significantly less, takes less time and result in less emotional upheaval for the family. Additionally, it promotes communication and cooperation between the parties.
If you and your spouse and are considering separating, for a no obligation initial consultation on the benefits of Divorce and Separation Mediation and personal service, call 631-277-8844 today. Serving Long Island, Suffolk and Nassau County.