Mediation provides a cooperative means of resolving divorce and other family law issues without involving litigation. It may be used for the entire divorce or for specific matters within it, such as child custody, child support, spousal support, a parenting plan, or division of assets. Mediation can also be helpful in resolving post-divorce modification issues.
In mediation the two parties involved attempt to work out their differences with the help of a third party. That third party, the mediator, remains neutral throughout the process.The Mediator
The mediator acts as a guide, leading the couple each step of the way as they gather and share information, helping them work their way towards an agreement that addresses the needs of both parties as well as those of any children involved.
In New Jersey it is not required that a mediator be licensed or certified when dealing with private mediation; however, it is helpful if he or she is knowledgeable and experienced in New Jersey family law matters. In fact, many mediators, including those at Aretsky Law Group, P.C., are attorneys.
The mediator can apprise clients of the various aspects of law that affect the issues of their case, but a mediator is not allowed to make recommendations as to either party’s best interests as a result of those laws. For that reason, it is usually advisable for each party to also hire an attorney. This attorney cannot be from the same firm as the mediator.
Also, mediation in New Jersey is non-binding. Unless an agreement is executed in order to make it binding, whatever is discussed during mediation must remain confidential. The information cannot be used in court at a later time. This is true whether or not either party’s attorney was present during mediation.New Jersey Private and Court-Ordered Mediation
Mediation in New Jersey can be private or court ordered. Both types of mediation are confidential and non-bonding.Private Mediation
Private mediation can be entered at any time during the divorce process or after the divorce if a post-divorce modification is necessary. It may be used for all or some of the issues. If litigation becomes necessary, it will be necessary to hire an attorney who is not in the same firm as the mediator.Court-Ordered Mediation
Couples who are divorcing in New Jersey are often ordered to resolve certain issues before the court will hear the case. New Jersey court-mandated mediation deals with two basic areas:
- Mediation for Child Custody and Parenting Issues
- Mediation for Economic Issues
Court-mandated mediation for child custody and parenting issues is conducted free of charge.
Mandated mediation for economic issues is free only for the first two hours. If the couple decides to extend the session, the mediator’s hourly fees will be charged.Benefits of Mediation
Divorce mediation is a more amicable alternative to litigation. When both parties are determined to make it work, if can be less stressful for all involved, especially the couple’s children.
Mediators’ fees vary, but mediation is usually less costly in terms of both time and money spent. Even though it is advisable to hire an attorney to protect your interests, the time the attorney spends on the case is usually minimal compared to litigation.Aretsky Law Group, P.C., Divorce Mediators
Aretsky Law Group, P.C., divorce mediators are also experienced attorneys, knowledgeable in New Jersey divorce and family law. Although when working with clients in a mediator capacity, they cannot give legal or other advice, they can explain the New Jersey laws that apply to the issues involved in order to better educate the couple and enable them to make their own decisions in those matters.
As skilled communicators, our divorce mediators work hard to keep both parties focused on the issues with their emotions in check. They foster an environment that encourages clients to listen to one another and see things from the other’s point of view. The final goal, of course, is to enable them to reach an agreement that suits each party’s needs to the greatest extent possible. In a successful mediation, neither party should feel like a winner or a loser.
To find out more about mediation and to determine if it is the right path for you, contact Aretsky Law Group, P.C., to set up your initial consultation. Call us at 800-537-4154. We are available to take your call 24/7.