When a couple decides to end a marriage, they have a few options. They can agree to terms outside of court or spend an overwhelming amount of money and time litigating the issue in front of a judge. Mediation has become an increasingly popular method to resolve the issues necessary to end a marriage. People realize the devastating impact of an emotional court case on the family, especially the children. Mediation can resolve a variety of issues, including child support, child custody, alimony, property distribution, relocation, and more. Through a constructive negotiation, a couple has the ability to settle all the issues necessary to end a marriage and obtain a Judgment of Divorce. If you are interested in the process of mediation, do not hesitate to contact Leslye M. Schlesinger. Ms. Schlesinger has been a legal resource for the people of Rockland County for over 30 years. Her law firm focuses on avoiding the pitfalls of litigation. If you need a mediator or an attorney to review a Separation Agreement before you sign, contact Leslye M. Schlesinger.
What is mediation?
When a couple would like to avoid litigation to end their marriage and resolve a variety of contested family law issues, they often choose between Collaborative Divorce and Mediation. Both have their benefits, but mediation is for those who can come together without the need for individual attorney representation. Mediation is not limited to divorces. Mediation can resolve post-divorce issues, including modifications and relocation issues.
When a couple engages in mediation, they are asked to focus on a common goal through a constructive and mutually respectful negotiation process. The purpose is to come to an agreement on contested issues and draft a Separation Agreement in an efficient manner.
When a couple hires a mediator, they will allow the professional to facilitate the process, guiding the couple. The mediator does not represent either party. The mediator will start by explaining the process, what the couple should expect from the process and the respective rights of the couple. Once the mediator is satisfied that the couple understands mediation, the process can begin.
The negotiation process will focus only on topics that need to be addressed. The mediator will work to address everyone’s concerns. If a party does not feel comfortable bringing up a topic in front of the other, they may discuss it with the mediator in private with the permission of the other party. The mediator will then bring it up in a constructive and productive manner. The time it takes to complete the process is up to the engaging parties. If the parties already agree on some issues, the process takes less time. Some are able to complete the process in a few visits while others need a bit longer to come to a conclusion. Once all necessary issues are addressed and the couple feels as though the process was a success, the mediator will draft the necessary document, namely the Separation Agreement. The couple is welcome to engage with counsel to review the agreement before signing. The signed agreement will serve as the basis for the terms of the couple’s divorce, should they choose to proceed to dissolve their marriage.
Neutral Profession Assistance
At times, if necessary, at the suggestion of the Mediator, other neutral professionals can be engaged to contribute to the mediation. All of the neutral professionals selected are themselves, trained mediators and have training in Family Law. For complex financial issues or assistance with a spouse who has limited knowledge of how to handle their finances, a neutral financial professional (CPA,etc.) will be requested to meet with the couple to explain and/or assist them in resolving certain financial issues. If the couple has children, it may be beneficial to consult with a neutral child specialist, who is a mental health professional. A child specialist can assist in everything from helping the couple announce their choice to divorce to their children, to assisting in arranging custody and parental access (visitation), to preparing a “Parenting Plan” if necessary. If emotional issues arise and impede the progress of the mediation a neutral Divorce Coach can assist both parties with managing emotions which are part of the divorce process and reducing stress. Not every mediation requires the assistance of theses neutrals but it is reassuring to have them in our “tool box” should they be necessary.
Contact a New City mediator
With over 30 years of experience guiding clients through matrimonial law, Leslye M. Schlesinger now focuses her practice on alternative dispute resolution for divorce and family law matters. If you are interested in the process of mediation, Ms. Schlesinger is here to serve. If you need an attorney to mediate a constructive negotiation process, draft and file the proper documents, or review a Separation Agreement before you sign it, contact Leslye M. Schlesinger for a consultation.