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What Is Mediation?
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution method where a trained neutral third party (the mediator) facilitates negotiation between two disputing spouses in order to guide them toward a resolution of their conflicts. Mediation focuses primarily on the needs, rights, and interests of the separating spouses, and the mediator will use a wide variety of techniques to promote productive communication and negotiation so spouses can reach an agreement on their separation without going to court. Note that the mediator does not have any decision-making authority, and they only exist to foster the discussion and write up the terms the parties have agreed on.
The goal of mediation is for parties to voluntarily settle their dispute, and a successful mediation process will result in a settlement agreement written by the mediator based on the spouses’ discussions and sent to the judge for approval. Mediators are trained to work in difficult, tense situations, so parties can count on them to help them think outside the box and broaden the range of possible solutions that a court might otherwise not be as creative with. After all, trial will likely result in a default decision by the judge that will not allow for as much personal interest negotiation as mediation might.
Benefits of Mediation
With the above in mind, there are several benefits to pursuing mediation. In particular, if both spouses are willing to cooperate and communicate, they should consider settling their dispute in mediation rather than going immediately to trial, as they can retain significant decision-making authority in mediation. Whereas in the courtroom they may have some time to explain their side before the judge makes the decision, in mediation both spouses can openly discuss with each other to negotiate the terms of their agreement without someone else making the final call. As a result, mediation allows parties to be more creative and come up with solutions that are better suited to what they need than what might be ordered in a courtroom. This is also a reason mediated agreements are usually stronger – parties construct their own terms, so they are more likely to comply.
Spouses may also save money by settling their divorce in mediation. Litigation is costly, and the mediation process generally takes less time than moving a case through court. The parties will also split the cost of the mediator between them.
Another benefit to mediation is confidentiality. Court hearings are public, but mediation remains strictly confidential. This means no one other than the parties themselves will know what’s happening, whereas a trial may put the matter on public display and even discourage the communication of certain interests.
CREATIVE SOLUTIONS TO DIFFICULT & COMPLEX PROBLEMS
All families and marriages are unique - our attorneys take the time to listen to our clients to fully understand the circumstances of their case. Only then do we advise the best legal option for their goals.
PROMPT RESPONSES TO INDIVIDUAL NEEDS AND INQUIRES
Divorce is a time of transition. We understand the emotional and financial stress that clients experience during the divorce process – from day one our team ensures that we provide our clients with prompt feedback so that they are updated on their case every step of the way.
CHOICES AND OPTIONS TAILORED TO EACH CASE
We are one of the only Manhattan divorce law firms offering all three options for divorce: litigation/negotiation, collaborative law, and mediation - providing custom strategies and solutions for our clients.
INDUSTRY THOUGHT LEADERS DEDICATED TO YOUR SUCCESS
Our attorneys provide frequent expert legal commentary for national media outlets and have been quoted in numerous publications including Fox's Business, NBC News, ABC News, CBS News and many more.
If you are currently in the process of settling your divorce, contact our Long Island firm for support in your mediation process. We specialize in mediation and can provide effective and professional legal guidance in the negotiation room. We will do our best to help you and your spouse reach a favorable outcome that addresses both of your needs in a timely and cost-efficient manner.
Contact our team online or at (212) 466-6015 to get started.