What to Expect From an Affordable Divorce Mediator on Long Island
By: Megan Mason
When a couple decides to pursue divorce mediation, the parties should determine the type of issues they want to settle. The typical issues covered in a divorce mediation session are property division, spousal support, child custody, alimony, retirement asset transfers, and real estate. Depending on the type of case, other issues such as business valuation or sale may be involved. Although not every case involves all of these issues, most involve property distribution and some form of support.
Each party will present their side of the story and the mediator will ask questions and reflect back the issues they raised. The sessions continue until an agreement has been reached on all issues. If the parties cannot agree on a final agreement, the process will continue with legal counsel. Typically, couples meet with their mediator three times, but some cases take up to eight sessions. During each session, the parties will get closer to an agreement. There are four stages in the process:
During the initial discussion, the mediator will gauge distance between the parties. This discussion is necessary to determine where the mediator and the couple are lacking in the divorce process. A divorce mediator can also draft a legally binding agreement. Although this process is not intended to resolve all issues, it is a helpful method to avoid the costs and pitfalls associated with litigation. In these cases, a divorce lawyer or other attorney can help. However, the process of divorce mediation should be treated as a business transaction.
A divorce mediator is a neutral third party who helps the divorcing couple come up with ideas to solve their problems. Because the mediator is not involved in the court process, the participants can freely express their thoughts without fear of being included in the proceedings. The mediator also advises the participants about various proposals and offers during the mediation. If the parties do not want to negotiate, they should tell the mediator immediately. A mediator will explain the process and emphasize the importance of confidentiality.
In addition to minimizing the financial and emotional strain, divorce mediation is a confidential process. This means that the other party cannot use information obtained through the mediation process against you in court. Moreover, the process is also inexpensive, making it an ideal choice for many couples. As long as both parties are able to communicate with each other, the chances of successful divorce mediation are good. Even though divorce mediation is not legally binding, it is often a wise choice for a couple seeking a divorce.
In general, mediation sessions are held in a comfortable office or conference room. Some mediators meet with all parties in one room while others break them up into separate rooms to conduct private discussions. Attorneys are also present before the mediation session begins. The mediators will work with both spouses to come up with a fair and respectful solution. If the spouses cannot reach a compromise, then alternative dispute resolution may be necessary. It is important that both sides be honest about their needs and their reasonable demands.
Despite the fact that divorce is a complex process, it doesn’t have to be messy or time-consuming. Sometimes, couples have grown apart and have mutually decided to separate. In such cases, divorce mediation can be beneficial. Divorce mediation can also help reduce conflict and foster cooperation and reduce costs. The process of separation may not be easy and the parties may have already discussed some of the issues. Moreover, the benefits of divorce mediation are many.
The duration of divorce mediation varies depending on the complexity of the case. If the parties are not able to come to an agreement quickly, the process could take up to six months. It is best to schedule the sessions a year or two in advance, as the process can take months. And depending on the complexity of the case, a single session can take up to two hours. It is possible that the two parties will need more sessions, so make sure to make time for the entire process.
In the end, divorce mediation is a fair and confidential process. Unlike the traditional divorce court process, divorce mediation doesn’t involve a judge or court reporter. Instead, the parties can negotiate with a third party mediator who does not have a financial or personal interest in the outcome of the divorce. A mediator is neutral and will not impose any orders on the parties. By working out their differences, divorce mediation can reduce the duration of the divorce and save both parties money.