Answers from Divorce Mediation Lawyers on Long Island
At Wisselman, Harounian & Associates, our Long Island divorce attorneys want our clients to be informed about all of their available options. When it comes to mediation, we know 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 Is Mediation?
Put simply, mediation is an out-of-court process for obtaining a divorce, 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 centered on amicable negotiation and compromise. The process is resolved entirely outside of the courtroom. 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 on all issues related to the divorce.
Is Mediation Like Therapy?
Mediation is NOT therapy; however, an experienced mediator can help parties effectively and amicably communicate regarding issues pertaining to co-parenting, finances, and divorce. 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. Our mediator can make suggestions and recommendations to help parties reach an agreement based upon existing New York law.
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 attorney fees. Mediation is also typically less emotionally turbulent than litigation or cases in which disputes, aggression, or intense emotion are more likely to interfere with reaching an agreement.
Should I Use Divorce Mediation?
This is one of the most common questions we receive, and one that is difficult to answer without reviewing the particular circumstances of a case. Mediation is not always right for everyone. In some cases, including those involving domestic violence or disputes, mediation might 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), we can still guide you toward an out-of-court settlement if it is the right strategy for your case.
Learn More from Our Great Neck 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.