Mediation FAQ

Questions and Answers About Divorce Mediation in Long Island

At Wisselman & Associates, our Long Island divorce attorneys want our clients to be well informed about all of their available options. When it comes to mediation, we know that spouses frequently have questions about the process, what they can expect, and how it may work with their particular situation. Although each marriage and divorce is unique, the following questions and answers can provide you with a better understanding of divorce mediation.

What exactly is mediation?
Put simply, mediation is an out of court process for obtaining a divorce, a legal separation, or resolving a custody dispute. In fact, mediation can be used for virtually all family law matters, including support, visitation, and property division. With mediation, the approach is one centered on amicable negotiations and compromise. The process is entirely out of court. Each party can still have their own attorney to advise them along the way. Mediation is best used for situations in which parties are able to communicate, compromise, and ultimately agree with one another about the issues.

Is mediation like therapy?
Mediation is NOT therapy; however, an experienced mediator will be able to guide the parties toward more effective and amicable communication regarding co-parenting, financial, and divorce issues. The end result of mediation is a written and signed separation or divorce agreement, not reconciliation of the parties.

What do divorce mediators do?
Divorce mediators act as a neutral third party to both spouses seeking a divorce. Mediators can help spouses communicate and negotiate custody and divorce terms – as well as terms for other related issues – in a way that addresses the concerns of both parties. Mediators do not make decisions on behalf of clients and do not "battle" with opposing attorneys. In our office, the mediator is an experienced attorney, with a minimum of 20 years' experience in matrimonial and family law. This means that the mediator can make suggestions and recommendations that will help the parties reach an agreement based upon the existing law in New York.

What are the benefits of mediation?
If mediation becomes an available option, it can provide many benefits. Mediation is especially effective in shared parenting and joint custody situations where parents want to preserve an amicable parenting relationship. In our office, after the parties reach an agreement with the mediator, we draw up all of the required documents and court papers. There is no need to go to another attorney to draft these documents. Mediation can save the parties a significant amount of time and fees for attorneys. Mediation is also typically less emotionally turbulent than litigation or cases in which disputes, aggression, or intense emotion are more likely to interfere with the parties' ability to reach an agreement.

Should I use divorce mediation?
This is one of the most common questions about mediation we receive, and one that is difficult to answer without reviewing the particular circumstances of a case. Mediation is not always right for everyone and in some cases, including those involving domestic violence or disputes, may not be an option at all. Mediation is simply one of several possible options you can explore as you determine the most appropriate method for finalizing your divorce. Because your personal situation and desires will largely determine whether or not mediation is an option for you, it is best to have an experienced Long Island mediation lawyer review your case. Even if mediation is not an option (for example if your spouse refuses to consider it), then we can still guide you toward an out of court settlement if it is the right strategy for your case.

Learn More from Our Long Island Divorce Attorneys

If you are seeking a divorce and are considering mediation, allow a member of our legal team to provide you with a free consultation. We are here to work personally with you and to answer any questions you may have. We are available 24/7 and offer evening and weekend consultations. Call (516) 406-8500 today.